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Full text of "Northward over the great ice : a narrative of life and work along the shores and upon the interior ice-cap of northern Greenland in the years 1886 and 1891-1897, with a description of the little tribe of Smith Sound Eskimos, the most northerly human beings in the world, and an account of the discovery and bringing home of the Saviksue or great Cape York meteorites"

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A  NarraUve  of  Life  and  Work  along  the 

Shores  and  upon  the  Intei^ior  Ice- Cap 

of  Northern  Green  land  in  the  Years 

1886  and  i8gi-i8gj 












In  Two  Volumes 

VOL.   II. 




Copyright,  i8g8, 

All  rights  reserved. 

Prrsswork  by  the  University  Press, 
Cambridge,  U.S.A. 

CONTENTS    OF    VOL.    11. 




I. — Philadelphia  to  Cape  York 
II. — House-Building  and  Hunting 
III. — Autumn  and  Winter  Work 
IV. — On  the  "  Great  Ice  " 
v. — On  the  "Great  Ice"    {^Coutinued) 
VI. — Discovery  of  the  "  Saviksue  " 
VII. — Reconnaissance  of  Melville  Bay — Astrup 
VIII. — Meteorological  and  Auroral  Notes — Baldwin 

PART    IV. 


I. — Boat  Voyage,  Palcon  to  Lodge 
II. — Boat  Voyage,  Falcon  to  Lodge   {Continued^ 
III. — The  Walrus  Hunt  .... 

IV. — Transporting  Meat  to  the  Lodge 

V. — Fall  Ice- Cap  Work  .... 

VI. — Fall  Hunting,  Arctic  Day  and  Night     . 







Contents  of  Vol.  II 


VII. — December  Journey  to  Cape  York 
VIII. — Return  from  Cape  York 
IX. — Winter  Routine 
X. — Sledge  Trips  of  the  Long  Night 
XI. — Miscellanea     .... 
XII. — A  Week  at  Peterahwik  . 
XIII. — Upward  Ice-Cap  Journey 
XIV. — The  Land  Beyond  the  Ice-Cap 
XV. — The  Land  Beyond  the  Ice-Cap   {Continued) 
XVI. — Return  Ice-Cap  Journey 
XVII. — After  the  Return  . 
Objects  and  Results  of  North-Greenland    Expeditions   of 
1893  to  1895         .... 

PART   V. 

SUMMER   VOYAGES    OF    1896-1897. 
The  ''  Saviksue  "  or  Cape  York  Meteorites 








IN    VOL.    II. 




THE   "FALCON"       . 


THE    BURROS    . 









A    33-INCH    BEAUTY       .... 





TASIUSAK,    73°   24/   N.    LAT. 

THE    DUCK   ISLANDS    .... 




THE    "FALCON'S"    FIREMEN      . 

CAPE    YORK    FROM    THE    SOUTH     . 









JIMMY    AND    THE    DOGS       . 

LANDING   A    BURRO       . 

A   TEAM    OF    DOGS 


A    SCENE    IN    THE    WALRUS    HUNT 


CAPE    ALEXANDER         

















"SHE    REACHED   FOR   THE   GOLDEN   BAR"       .... 







A   BURRO  TRAIN     . 

PAY    DAY    












THE   CACHE   IGLOOS     .....        







"THEIR   FUR  A    MASS   OF    ICE   AND   SNOW"     .... 


































Illustrations  ix 



A    CAVE    AT    PETOWIK 137 



AT   CAPE    YORK 141 



HARD    AT    WORK 144 

LOOKING   NORTH   ACROSS   PETOWIK   GLACIER      .        .        .146 
COAST   NORTH    OF    PETOWIK   GLACIER       .         .         .         .         .747 


THE    "FALCON"    IN    THE    HARBOUR   AGAIN      .         .         .         .150 




MAP    OF    MELVILLE    BAY 158 








"THE    'FALCON'    SWUNG    ON    HER    HEEL"        .         .         .         .208 


"A    WILD    FUR-CLAD    CREW" 210 

"BLACK   CLIFFS   OF  THE   IRON   BOUND    SHORE".        .        .211 

CAPE    ATHOL  212 

A    STREAM    OF   DRIFT   ICE 213 


NUMEROUS    KITTIWAKES    ON    THEIR   NESTS  .         .         .         .215 
VILLE   BAY 217 


BLACK    POOEENYAH    AND    THE    IGNIMUT    GLACIER     .         .     219 



TWO    KAYAKERS    MET    US  . 222 

"  ONE   OF   THOSE   WILD    SUNSETS  " 223 




"ONE     OF     THE     ICE-STREAMS      OF      THIS     PRECIPITOUS 

SHORE" 228 

"PIERCED    BY   A    MAGNIFICENT   TUNNEL"       .         .         .         .230 



VIEW    IN    OLRIKS    BAY 234 

BOAT   CAMP   IN    OLRIKS    BAY 235 


MT.    GYRFALCO 238 

THE    NARROWS    BECAME    A    CAVE    OF   THE    WINDS      .         .     239 


BERGS    AND    TRASH   ICE 243 



WALRUS    HEAD        .         .         

HEADPIECE        ....... 

A    KARNAH    TUPnC  

MY  PICKED  CREW  ..... 





'•A    GREAT   BERG    LIKE   AN    OCEAN    LINER' 
"PUTTING    THE    STONE"     .... 
MY    WALRUS    FLEET     ..... 
IN  FULL   WINTER   RIG         .... 


THE    MISTRESS    OF   THE   TUPH<:      . 

WINTER    IGLOO        

THE    "MARY    PEARY"   AND    HER    CREW 





A    WALRUS    STEAK         






CARRYING    A    SLEDGE  .... 

PACKING     .         •         


HARD   AT    WORK    









THE    LODGE       

DEPARTURE    OF    SUN    .... 
"THE     GHASTLY     PALLOR    OF    A    WHITE     AND     FROZEN 




















CAPE   YORK    IN    WINTER    GARB      . 
TAILPIECE  .         .         .         .         . 

TRAVELLING   COMPANIONS       .         . 



















"LASSIE"    . 







"A    CANAL   OF   BLACK    WATER    AT  ITS    FOOT" 




KIOSHOO     .... 



TOWSER      . 

LION      .... 



BABY    LAKE       









xii  Illustrations 



"PANIKPAH    OF   THE    OLD    GUARD" 400 




"A    BUXOM    AND    OLEAGINOUS    LADY"       .....  404 




RETURN    OF   THE    SUN -409 



DRAWINGS    OF   A    14-YEAR-OLD   ESKIMO    GIRL        .         .         .414 




SIPSU 420 



TWO   MAPS   OF   COAST   BY   DIFFERENT   NATIVES          .        .  423 

ESKIMO    BOY 424 


A    GOOD   JOKE 426 



HEAD    OF    POLAR    BEAR 429 




THE    LODGE    IN    WINTER 435 


SOKER 438 

UP   THE    LANDWARD    SLOPES    OF    THE    ICE-CAP   .         .         .441 


A    SHELTER 444 


A    CAMP 446 


NOOKTAH    AND   THE    "JOSEPHINE"      ......  449 



THE    DISASTER    AT    THE    FOUR-HUNDREDTH    MILE    .         .  453 



LOOKING    DOWN    ON    THE    NORTHERN    LAND  .         .         .456 

MATTHEW    A.    HENSON 460 


ICE-CAP    CREVASSE   ^ 463 



THE    NORTHERN    LAND    FROM    THE    MORAINE       .         .         .468 


"HE    SANK    ON    HIS    HAUNCHES" 472 

"WITH    A    BULLET    BACK   OF   THE    FORE    SHOULDER"       .  47c 







HEADPIECE        .... 



STILL   PUSHING   ON       . 




A    SHORT    REST        .... 
















MIDNIGHT    CALM    .... 








SAVIKSOAH    BAY     .... 










OF   "HOPE"  IN    1897        .... 


















TAIN       . 


faces  558 







THE    "UOG"       . 


ACROSS    THE    BAY    ICE         .... 




THE   "SAVIKSUE"   AS    LEFT    IN    1S96     . 





THE    METEORITE    ON    MY    RETURN    IN    1S97 


CAPTAIN    JOHN    BARTLETT       .... 




A    MOMENTARY    HITCH        ...... 





THE    "DOG"    IN    SITU 



THE   "WOMAN"    IN    SITU 


"  WOMAN  " 





T   MAN 











PART  111. 

NORTH-GREENLAND    EXPEDITION    OF    I  893- 1  894. 



The  Falcon  Reaches  Philadelphia— New  York,  Boston,  Portland, 
St.  John's — Battle  Harbour,  Labrador — Moravian  Missions,  Hope- 

Ice  Pack  to  Greenland — Crossing  the  Arctic  Circle — Holsteinborg 
AND  Godhavn — A  Breath  of  the  Tropics — Upernavik  and  Tasiusak — 
My  Arctic  Roosters — The  Duck  Islands — Across  Melville  Bay — 
The  Quickest  Run  on  Record. 





R  I  D  A  Y  morning, 
June  23,  1893,  was 
raw  and  disagree- 
able, with  a  light,  drizzling 
rain,  as  my  tug  cast  off 
from  a  Philadelphia  pier, 
and  went  puffing  down 
the  dull  grey  expanse  of 
the  Delaware  to  meet  the 
Falcon.  A  week  and  a 
day  before,  the  cable  had 
flashed  the  news  of  her 
departure  from  St.  John's,  and  the  day  before,  the  wire 
had  brought  tidings  from  the  breakwater  that  she  had 
been  sighted  there.  The  rain  gradually  ceased,  the 
clouds  began  to  break  away,  and  when,  just  below 
Wilmington,  we  swung  round  alongside  a  trim  black- 
hulled,  yellow-masted  bark,  with  two  white  crow-nests 
far  up  aloft,  the  stormy  morning  had  merged  into  a 
perfect  day. 

At  five  in  the  afternoon  she  was  fast  at  her  pier, 
which  had  kindly  been  offered  for  her  use  by  Super- 
intendent Sweigard,  of  the  Reading  Railway.  For 
the  next  three  days  she  lay  at  this  pier,  the  centre  of 
interest  for  thousands  of  visiting  Philadelphians.      In 

4  Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

the  midst  of  the  throng  of  visitors,  as  opportunity  of- 
fered, the  various  items  of  her  miscellaneous  supplies 
were  brought  on  board  :  among  these,  a  steam  launch 
— an  oil  burner — named  in  honour  of  one  to  whom  I 
was  under  lasting  obligations,  Gen.  I.  J.  Wistar ;  two 
whale-boats,  the  Mary  Peary  and  the  Faith,  compan- 
ions of  the  last  expedition,  and  which,  through  the 
courtesy  of  Commodore  Kirkland,  U.  S.  N.,  had  been 
stored  at  the  League  Island  Navy  Yard  ;  the  six  dogs, 


Pau,  Lion,  Ahngodoblaho  first  and  second,  Merkto- 
shar,  Panikpah,  my  noble  assistants  on  the  "  White 
March,"  and  companions  through  the  three  months' 
lecture  tour,  by  which  I  had  raised  a  large  portion 
of  the  sinews  of  war  for  the  expedition  ;  the  carrier- 
pigeons  which  were  to  carry  messages  through  the 
White  North  ;  and  last,  the  queer  little  ragged-coated, 
long-eared,  pathetic-eyed  burros  that  had  come  from 
far-off  Santa  Fe  to  serve  as  material  for  a  somewhat 

Philadelphia  to  Cape  York  5 

novel  experiment  in  arctic  methods.  For  three  days, 
hundreds  of  visitors  patted  the  dogs,  pitied  the  burros, 
and  climbed  over  and  into  every  part  of  the  Falcon, 
then,  at  midnight  of  the  26th,  she  slipped  out  from 
the  pier,  and  dropped  with  the  ebb-tide  down  the 
Delaware.  Two  days  later,  the  observer  at  Sandy 
Hook  saw  a  strange  black  craft  steaming  up  from  the 
southward  ;  and  passing  up  through  the  lower  bay, 
with  all  her  bunting  flung  out,  the  Falcon  pointed  her 
black  nose  towards  one  of  the  Brooklyn  wharves,  in 
the  shadow  of  the  great  bridge,  and  late  in  the  after- 
noon was  aorain  fast  with  the  mooring  lines.  Three 
days  of  curious  visitors 
here,  interspersed  with 
stowine  on  board  sev- 
eral  thousand  pounds 
of  pemmican,  the  pro- 
visions for  the  party, 
the  arms  and  ammuni- 
tion, the  hardware  and 
miscellaneous  articles, 
gathered  from  north 
and  south  and  east  and 
west  to  their  rendezvous 
here,  and  then  late  Sun- 
day afternoon  the  Fal- 
■con  cast  off  her  lines  and 
steamed  up  the  East 
River,  just  as  the  little 
Kite  had  done  twoyears 
before,  amid  the  cheers, 
the  waving  of  handker- 
chiefs, and  the  deafen- 
ing whistles  from  the  ahngodoblaho. 
evening  fleet  of  Sound 
steamers,  and  dipping  flags  and  tooting  whistles  from 

6  Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

every  other  craft  in  and  along  the  river.  Fifty 
hours  later,  with  spring  and  bow  and  stern  lines  taut, 
the  Falcon  was  hugging  historic  Constitution  Wharf 
in  Boston,  the  fluttering  flags  at  her  tops  glowing  in 
the  last  rays  of  the  setting  4th-of-July  sun.  From 
the  very  next  slip,  years  ago,  had  started  out  Dr. 
Kane's  Expedition.  Here  for  two  days,  from  early 
morning  till  late  in  the  evening,  crowds  of  interested 
Bostonians  clambered   over  the   ship,    left  presents. 


souvenirs,  and  cards  on  board,  or,  lacking  these,  wrote 
God-speed  and  wishes  for  success  in  every  available 
nook  and  corner. 

Leaving  Boston  at  eight  o'clock  in  the  evening,  the 
run  to  Portland  was  made  durino;  the  nio-ht,  and  a 
couple  of  hours  before  noon  of  the  next  day  the  Fal- 
con, again  with  bunting  streaming  from  every  mast, 
steamed  through  the  mao^nificent  seaward  grate  of  Port- 
land  harbour,  past  the  familiar  scenes  of  my  boyhood, 
and  up  to  her  berth  at  Custom-House  Pier,  amid  the 

Philadelphia  to  Cape  York  7 

shrill  screamine  of  whistles  and  tug-boats  dartinor  here 
and  there.  Only  a  day  could  be  spared  here  to  give 
old  friends  and  acquaintances  a  chance  to  see  the  arc- 
tic ship,  and  this  day  was  utilised  to  gather  in  a  few 
last  articles  of  equipment,  which,  failing  to  be  deliv- 
ered in  time  at  Philadelphia  or  New  York,  had  been 
traced  and  hurried  up  by  telegraph  to  reach  the  ship 
here.  The  one  night  in  Portland  was  taken  advan- 
tage of  by  the  city  government  to  give  the  party  a 
farewell  banquet,  and  by  at  least  one  of  the  departing 
expedition  that  banquet  was  most  deeply  enjoyed  and 

Saturday  afternoon,  July  8th,  the  Falcon  swung  away 
from  her  pier  in  Portland  harbour.  At  the  same  mo- 
ment, from  another  pier  farther  up  the  harbour,  a  little 
tug  came  puffing  out,  with  Mrs.  Peary,  myself,  and  one 
or  two  other  members  of  the  expedition,  accompanied 
by  Professor  Heilprin,  to  board  the  Falcon  in  mid- 
stream. It  was  a  glorious  day,  and  the  familiar  shores 
and  islands  of  the  harbour  wore  their  most  charming  as- 
pect in  the  brilliant  summer  sunshine.  We  responded 
to  the  salutes  from  Cape  Cottage  and  other  residences 
along  the  shore  road  as  we  steamed  out,  and  at  two 
o'clock  the  pilot  left  us  off  Ram  Island  Ledge,  and, 
laying  a  course  to  clear  Halfway  Rock  Light,  we  were 
at  last  fairly  started  on  our  northward  voyage. 

I  had  hoped  to  visit  for  an  hour  or  so  my  little 
Eagle  Island,  but  our  direct  course  was  too  far  from 
it,  and  I  did  not  care  to  delay  the  ship  solely  for  that, 
so  I  was  content  to  see  its  green  dome  standing  out 
against  the  misty  background  of  beautiful  Casco  Bay. 
As  the  sun  went  down,  the  wind  freshened,  raising  a 
little  sea,  which  thumped  against  the  weather-bow,  and 
occasionally  came  splashing  up  on  the  quarter-deck. 
When  darkness  settled  upon  us,  the  water  was  alive 
with    phosphorescence,    and    startled    fishes,    darting 

8  Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

away  from  the  ship's  side,  caused  flashes  Hke  the  glow 
of  summer  heat-hghtning. 

It  is  a  strange  sight  that  the  Falcons  deck  presents. 
Forward,  on  the  starboard  side,  are  the  eight  Httle 
burros,  munching  continuously  at  their  hay,  and  sel- 


dom  showing  any  signs  of  animation  beyond  the  slow 
lifting  of  an  ear.  Poor  little  fellows  !  Just  across  the 
deck  from  the  burros,  are  the  two  Ahngodoblaho  dogs. 
One  of*  them  has  already  come  to  the  conclusion  that 
the  burros  are  good  to  eat,  and  makes  frantic  efforts 

Philadelphia  to  Cape  York  9 

to  get  at  them.  Along  either  side  of  the  deck-house, 
are  piled  the  bales  of  hay,  and  in  the  waist  of  the  ship, 
along  both  rails,  is  a  continuous  row  of  oil  barrels. 

Passing  down  the  companion-way,  immediately  in 
front  is  the  door  leading  to  the  main  cabin,  and,  en- 
tering this,  a  door  is  seen  opening  both  to  port  and 
starboard  from  it.  On  the  port  side,  the  door  leads 
to  a  series  of  three  staterooms  in  line,  with  accommo- 
dations for  eight  of  the  party,  and  on  the  left  the  door 


leads  to  our  own  little  stateroom,  scarcely,  if  any,  larger 
than  the  one  on  the  Kite,  but  somewhat  more  con- 
veniently arranged,  and  much  more  pleasant  from  the 
addition  of  a  circular  swinging  port  in  the  ship's  side, 
directly  above  the  berth.  The  washstand,  a  small 
chest  of  drawers  built  against  the  wall,  and  a  box 
stood  on  end  to  assist  in  climbino^  into  the  narrow 
bunk  comprise  the  furniture  of  this  little  room. 

Late   Wednesday   afternoon.    Cape    Pines,   on   the 
southern  Newfoundland  coast,  was  sighted  off  the  port 

lo         Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

bow,  and  when  the  late  sunset  came,  the  bluffs  of  the 
cape,  only  a  few  miles  from  us,  with  a  little  white  light- 
house perched  upon  their  top,  were  thrown  into  sharp 
relief  against  the  crimson  glories  of  the  western  sky. 
About  midnight  we  rounded  Cape  Race,  and  at  seven 
o'clock  Thursday  morning,  when  I  came  on  deck,  the 
giant  rock  portal  of  St.  John's  harbour  was  directly 
ahead  of  us,  the  familiar  red-brown  cliffs  on  either  side 
glowing  in  the  bright  morning  sunshine. 

Stopping  at  St.  John's  only  long  enough  to  fill  with 
coal,  the  Falcon  got  away  on  the  15th,  and  ploughed 
her  way  northward.  In  the  waist  and  forward,  her 
deck  was  washed  constantly,  and  the  poor  little  burros 
stood  knee-deep  in  the  water.  The  rain  and  wind, 
the  latter  always  disagreeable  to  the  Eskimo  dog, 
kept  these  four-footed  friends  of  mine  in  a  constant 
state  of  vociferous  protest  against  the  weather. 
About  ten  o'clock  I  missed  my  grey  Ahngodoblaho 
dog,  and  after  an  unsuccessful  search,  we  at  last  dis- 
covered the  rope  and  harness  by  which  he  had  been 
fastened,  hanging  over  the  ship's  side,  near  where  he 
had  been  the  night  before. 

Poor  fellow  !  I  mourned  him  all  day  long.  Though 
possessing,  perhaps,  the  least  stamina  of  any  of  the 
surviving  dogs  of  the  1892  Inland-Ice  journey,  he 
had  during  his  sojourn  in  civilisation  become  the 
most  affectionate  of  the  team,  and  had  even  learned 
some  civilised  customs,  such,  for  instance,  as  shakinof 
hands.  It  seemed  a  pity  that,  after  having  gone 
through  so  much,  he  should  have  been  lost  at  this 
time,  and,  like  one  of  Hall's  Eskimos,  have  died  on 
his  way  home,  just  after  he  had  seen  the  first  ice. 

On  the  I  7th,  after  a  night  of  heavy  weather  off  the 
Strait  of  Belle  Isle,  weather  in  which  two  of  my  bur- 
ros succumbed,  the  Falcon  touched  into  Battle  Harbour 
on  the  Labrador  coast,  to  purchase  dogs.     There  is  a 

Philadelphia  to  Cape  York 


wild  view  from  here  of  wind-swept  grey  sea,  dotted 
with  a  numerous  fleet  of  icebergs,  and  fading  away 
in  the  distance  into  the  shrouding  fog.  The  rocks 
and  shores  of  this  coast,  to  my  mind,  are  more  som- 
bre and  desolate 
in  appearance 
than  the  shores 
of  Greenland  as 
far  north  as  Dis- 
co Bay,  almost 
twenty  degrees 
higher  latitude. 
The  scattered 
patches  of  moss 
and  turf  are 
bright  with  flow- 
ers,  and  I  saw 
two  or  three  spar- 
rows flitting  over 
the  grey  rocks. 

My  efforts  to 
obtain  dogs  met 
with  little  suc- 
cess, and  at  earli- 
est daylight  we 
steamed  out 
across  the  breezy 
white-caps  of  St. 
Lewis  Sound. 
Late  in  the  after- 
noon, we  began 
to  run  through 
streaks  of  foe,  and  the  iceberors  seemed  more  numer- 
ous.  At  nine  o'clock  we  rounded  Wolf  Rock  and 
hauled  more  to  the  westward  along  the  now  receding 
Labrador  coast.     The  nights   were    now   decreasing 


Moravian  Mission. 

Philadelphia  to  Cape  York 


rapidly  in  length,  it  being-  fairly  light  at  ten  p.m.,  and 
there  were  indications  of  southerly  winds  during  the 
nio-ht  and  in  the  mornino-   which  meant  no  foe. 

During  the  night,  we  passed  the  mouth  of  Hamil- 
ton Inlet,  and  the  next  noon  were  off  bold  Cape  Har- 


Moravian  Mission. 

rison.  At  five  p.m.  we  passed  the  point  of  Kidliauit, 
or  outer  Ironbound  Island.  A  very  pronounced  mir- 
age was  noticed  among  the  Icebergs  to  the  north-east 
for  an  hour  during  the  forenoon.  The  next  morning, 
we  stopped  a  few  minutes  at  the  fishing  station  of 
Turnavik  to  leave  a  mail.      For  an  hour  before  and 

14         Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

after  reaching  the  station  we  were  surrounded  by  Httle 
brown-sailed  fishing-boats,  one  or  two  hundred  of 
which  rendezvous  at  this  place.  Lighted  as  they  were 
by  the  slanting  rays  of  the  evening  sun,  they  pre- 
sented a  very  picturesque  sight.  Hopedale,  the  Mo- 
ravian mission  station,  about  midway  of  the  Labrador 
coast,  was  my  next  stop,  on  the  20th.  Here,  for  the  first 
time  on  this  coast,  I  saw  the  Eskimos  themselves,  and 
I  found  them  difficult  to  deal  with,  as  in  every  other 


place  where  they  have  been  in  contact  with  the  whites. 
Although  there  were  numbers  of  dogs  about  the  set- 
tlement, the  owner  of  every  desirable  dog,  by  a  strange 
coincidence,  was  away  fishing,  and  the  few  men  still 
remaining  at  the  station  who  had  dogs  they  wished 
to  sell,  by  another  strange  coincidence,  had  sent  them 
to  a  distant  island. 

Three  Moravian  missionaries — Kastner,  Hansen, 
and  Simon, — with  their  wives,  are  at  this  station.  A 
few   oranges  were  very  acceptable  to  these   isolated 

Philadelphia  to  Cape  York  15 

people,  and  in  return  I  was  pressed  to  accept  a  pre- 
sent of  lettuce  and  rhubarb  from  the  mission  gar- 
den. These  gardens  present  a  pitiful  appearance. 
Just  back  of  the  village,  amid  a  little  clump  of  stunted, 
grey-bearded  fir  and  spruce  trees,  are  a  series  of  small 
enclosures,  surrounded  by  a  close  fence  of  split  logs 
driven  into  the  ground.  Over  the  entrance  of  each 
of  these  enclosures  is  inscribed  some  Scripture  name, 
such  as  Enon  or  Saron,  and  within  the  shelter  of  these 
fences    are    grown    the   potatoes,    lettuce,    rhubarb, 


horseradish,  and  other  vegetables  which  supply  the 
wants  of  the  missionaries.  A  few  pansies  also  show 
their  bright  heads. 

The  most  touching  place,  however,  was  the  pleasure 
garden,  if  I  may  be  allowed  the  term,  a  little  enclosure 
around  the  sides  of  which  ran  a  gravel  walk,  with  two 
others  intersecting  it  in  the  centre.  At  the  intersec- 
tion of  these  two  walks  is  a  little  rough  board  shelter, 
open  on  one  side,  and  with  a  rude  wooden  table  in  the 
centre,  the  whole  facing  southward,  the  dreariest  pos- 
sible apology  for  a  summer  pavilion.      In  front  of  this 


Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  " 

are  one  or  two  little  beds  of  struggling  flowers,  and 
everywhere  else  through  the  enclosure  the  rank  wet 
grass  grows  in  the  shadow  of  the  stunted  trees.  These 
trees  to  me  are  more  striking  pictures  of  loneliness, 
desolation,  and  barrenness  than  the  barest  of  bare  rocks. 
The  settlement  itself  consists  of  three  or  four  neat, 
strongly  built  houses,  which  form  the  quarters  and 
stores  of  the  missionaries,  surrounded  by  the  small 


wooden  structures  occupied  by  the  natives,  of  whom 
there  are  some  one  hundred  and  fifty  at  this  place. 
None  of  the  natives  here  live  in  stone  or  turf  houses. 
Back  of  the  principal  house  is  an  enormous  pile  of 
sawed  and  split  wood,  the  common  property  of  the 
settlement.  This  wood  is  gathered  at  the  heads  of  the 
inlets  in  the  autumn  after  the  fishing  is  over,  and  rafted 
down  to  the  settlement  by  the  natives. 

Philadelphia  to  Cape  York  17 

From  Hopedale  we  threaded  our  way  through  fog 
and  heavy  ice  to  the  mission  station  of  Okkak.  The 
appearance  of  this  station  is  very  similar  to  that  of 
Hopedale,  though  there  seems  to  be  a  larger  number 
of  native  habitations.  Nearly  all  the  natives,  we 
found  on  landing,  were  away  at  various  points  along 
the  coast,  fishing,  and,  in  this  case,  just  the  reverse  of 
the  conditions  at  Hopedale,  they  had  all  their  dogs 
with  them.  On  learning  this,  I  remained  ashore  only 
long  enough  to  obtain  from  the  missionary  the  loca- 
tion of  these  camps  to  the  northward,  and  then  went 
on  board  ship. 

Late  on  the  2 2d  I  had  twenty-five  dogs  on  board, 
including  the  five  of  my  old  team,  and  I  decided  not 
to  waste  more  time  in  the  fog  and  ice  of  this  inhospit- 
able coast,  but  to  bear  away  at  once  for  Greenland. 
So  the  Falcoiis  prow  was  headed  for  the  entrance  of 
Hell  Gate,  the  wild  passage  leading  northward  from 
the  bay,  under  the  cliffs  of  the  Bishop's  Mitre,  a  great 
mountain  towerincr  in  red-brown  grrandeur  three  thous- 
and  feet  above  us. 

The  mission  natives  whom  we  had  seen  about  this 
bay  were  very  similar  in  appearance  to  the  Greenland 
natives,  and  in  one  or  two  of  them,  darker  than  the 
rest,  I  fancied  that  I  detected  a  resemblance  to  some  of 
our  old  Whale  Sound  acquaintances.  Though  some 
of  the  men  had  on  sealskin  trousers,  most  of  them 
were  dressed  in  garments  made  of  civilised  material, 
the  coats,  or  timiaks,  without  exception,  being  of 
white  blanketing,  trimmed  with  bands  of  red  cloth 
about  the  bottom  and  the  wrists  and  the  front  of  the 
hood.  The  pattern  of  these  garments  was  that  of  the 
fur  garments  of  all  the  Eskimos  on  the  western  shores 
of  Baffin  Bay  and  Davis  Strait,  having  the  pointed 
hood.  The  upper  garment  of  the  women  was  of  the 
same  material  and  much  of  the  same  cut,  except  that 

Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  ''' 

it  had  the  long  rounded  tail  to  the  coat.  Some  of  the 
women  had  a  single  very  abbreviated  skirt  of  some 
woven  material,  while  others  wore  simply  the  heavy 
blanket  trousers.  All,  both  men  and  women,  wore 
the  regulation  Eskimo  foot-a;ear. 

Passing  between  the  almost 
overhano^inof  cliffs  of  Hell  Gate, 
we  emerged  from  the  northern 
end  of  the  passage,  and  were 
once  more  in  the  ice. 

All  night  long  the  Falcon 
fought  the  ice,  till  every  tim- 
ber creaked  and  loose  articles 
in  the  cabin  and  staterooms 
danced  a  merry  jig.  All  night 
the  cry  of  the  man  at  the  bridge 
and  the  answerino"  shout  from 
the  wheel  of  "  port,"  "  port, 
sir,"  "  steady,"  "  starboard," 
"hard  over,"  kept  sleep  from 
the  eyes  of  the  younger  mem- 
bers of  the  party.  At  10:30 
o'clock  on  Sunday  morning, 
July  23d,  after  passing  through 
some  four  miles  of  heavily 
packed  ice,  the  Falcon  punched 
^^jgjj^k  her  nose  through  into  the  open 

JH^Hk  sea,  and  we  were  free. 

^^■1^^  Throughout  the  day,  a  long, 

heavy  swell  from  the  north- 
west, a  reminder  of  the  past 
week  of  heavy  weather,  kept  the  Falcon  rolling  in  a 
manner  that  placed  many  of  the  party  hors  de  combat. 
Tuesday  and  Wednesday  were  days  of  thick  fog 
that  dripped  constantly  from  the  masts  and  rigging, 
keeping  everything  on  deck  as  wet  as  in  a  summer 


Philadelphia  to  Cape  York 


shower.  Our  reckoning  showed  that  we  would  cross 
the  Arctic  Circle  at  noon,  and  a  little  before  that  time 
the  ship  was  decked  with  all  her  bunting,  with  the 
Stars  and  Stripes  at  the  fore,  the  Expedition  flag  at  the 
main,  and  the  British  ensign  and  the  ship's  flag  at  the 
mizzen.  As  the  ship's  bell  struck  eight  bells,  a  salute 
of  three  guns  was  fired  from  the  old  piece  on  the  fore- 
castle, and  we  then  all  descended  to  the  cabin,  where 
a  punch  had  been  brewed  for  the  occasion.     A  bit  of 


Strawberry  syrup  gave  the  punch  the  proper  colour, 
and  a  lemon  or  two  slashed  into  it  gave  the  finishing 
touch.  In  this  we  drank  success  to  the  Expedition,  and 
the  health  of  the  ladies  and  of  Captain  Bartlett.  As 
this  was  the  captain's  first  crossing  of  the  Arctic  Circle, 
a  five-dollar  gold  piece,  the  only  thing  available,  was 
presented  to  him  as  a  souvenir  of  the  occasion. 

About  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  the  lookout 
discovered  low-lying  rocks  close  on  our  starboard  bow, 
and  the  fog  lifting  a  little  later,  gave  us  a  view  of  the 


Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice 

bold  Greenland  coast,  only  a  few  miles  distant.  Care- 
fully scanning  the  horizon  in  the  intervals  when  the 
fog  lifted  from  us  a  little,  we  discovered  at  last  a  bea- 
con on  an  island  a  few  miles  to  the  south  of  us. 
Steaming  down  to  it,  a  solitary  kayaker  was  seen  ap- 
proaching the  ship,  and,  coming  on  board  a  few  min- 
utes later,  he  informed  us  that  we  were  at  the  entrance 



of  the  passage  into  Holsteinborg.  Then,  coming  on 
the  bridge,  he  piloted  us  into  the  harbour,  where  we 
dropped  anchor  at  six  o'clock  in  the  evening. 

Holsteinborg  (66°  56'  N.  Lat.)  is  situated  on  a  pro- 
jecting peninsula  of  the  mainland,  which  here  rises  to 
a  considerable  height,  but  is  partly  bordered  by  a  strip 
of  flat  lowland,  intersected  by  valleys.      The  houses^ 

Philadelphia  to  Cape  York  21 

with  a  church  and  missionary  dwelling,  stand  at  the 
mouth  of  a  valley,  somewhat  higher  above  the  sea 
than  most  Greenland  settlements.  The  harbour  is 
spacious,  offering  a  safe  anchorage  for  ships.  On  the 
north  side  of  the  harbour,  the  ruins  of  the  original 
settlement,  which  was  founded  in  1759,  ^^^  found. 
This  spot  is  overgrown  by  willows,  whose  luxuriance 
is  exceptional  in  a  spot  so  near  the  open  sea,  but  may 
be  explained  by  the  shelter  offered  by  the  mountain 


chain  on  the  north  side.  The  settlement  is  just  within 
the  Arctic  Circle,  the  sun  being  visible  for  a  few  days 
at  midnight. 

The  Governor  of  Holsteinborg  was  absent  on  one 
of  his  summer  tours,  and  only  Assistant-Governor 
Franzen  was  at  home.  I  found  him  very  pleasant  and 
anxious  to  be  of  all  possible  assistance,  the  instruc- 
tions from  the  Danish  Government  in  regard  to  the 
Expedition  having  reached  the  colony.  In  a  few  hours, 
seventeen  dogs  had  been  purchased  and  put  aboard. 

2  2  Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

We  learned  from  the  Governor  that  our  celebration, 
when  our  vessel  crossed  the  Arctic  Circle  at  noon, 
had  been  the  cause  of  considerable  alarm  in  the 
little  village,  as  the  people  had  heard  our  guns  and 
were  fearful  that  in  the  heavy  fog  we  had  run  upon 
some  rock. 

Next  to  Godhavn  this  little  Greenland  town,  Hol- 
steinborg,  is  the  prettiest  and  most  picturesque.  The 
harbour  is  not  quite  so  completely  enclosed  as  at  God- 
havn, but  there  are  numerous  little  bights  running  out 
from  it  that  make  perfect  shelter  for  small  boats. 
The  hamlet  itself,  consisting  of  four  or  five  Danish 
houses,  occupying  a  common  enclosure  surrounded  by 
a  neat  painted  fence,  is  at  a  considerable  elevation 
above  the  water-level,  and  grouped  to  the  westward  of 
this    enclosure   are    the    dwellinors    of   the    Eskimos. 


These  dwellings  seem  to  be  more  regularly  and  closely 
built  than  those  at  any  other  of  the  Greenland  settle- 
ments which  I  have  visited. 

Just  a  few  minutes  before  midnight  the  Falcons 
bow  was  pointed  westward,  the  propeller  began  its 
revolutions,  and  we  steamed  out  of  the  harbour  to 
the  sound  of  our  whistle  and  the  saluting  cannon  of 
the  town,  with  the  yellow  midnight  sunlight  just  tip- 
ping the  ragged  peak  of  Kellnerhatten,  which  stands 
guard  over  the  little  settlement.  One  of  the  most 
picturesque  scenes  of  the  voyage  was  our  pilot-boat 
veering  away  from  the  side  of  the  ship,  sharply  out- 
lined against  the  blazing  northern  sky,  and  the  occu- 
pants of  the  boat  swinging  their  hats  and  giving  three 
cheers  for  the  Expedition. 

Early  on  the  28th,  we  entered  the  harbour  of  God- 
havn. The  anchor  was  no  sooner  down  than  the  natives 
were  alongside  us  with  the  numerous  little  articles  so 
familiar  to  visitors  to  these  Greenland  ports — the  toy 
kayaks,  muffs,  footstools,  tobacco-cases,  ivory  carvings. 

Philadelphia  to  Cape  York 


slippers,  bird-skins,  and  rugs  made  from  various  furs 
and  trimmed  and  decorated  with  bits  of  brilliantly 
dyed  seal  leather.  Some  of  the  men  brought  off  more 
substantial  if  less  interesting  articles,  in  the  way  of 
ducks,  salmon  trout,  rock  cod,  and  so  on. 


I  found  that  my  fur  clothing,  ordered  from  Copen- 
hagen, was  ready  for  me,  and  so  were  twenty  dogs. 
Returning  to  the  ship,  I  had  the  presents  intended  for 
our  Greenland  friends  brought  up  and  put  in  one  of 
the  boats  to   take    ashore.      Then,   accompanied  by 

24         Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Mrs.  Peary,  I  left  the  ship  again  and,  landing,  went  up 
to  the  Inspector's  house. 

Here,  after  the  first  greetings  were  over,  I  told 
Mrs.  Andersen  that  for  a  little  while  I  wanted  to  take 
possession  of  the  Inspector's  billiard  room,  and  that 
she  was  not  to  look  into  the  room  or  out  of  the  win- 
dows to  see  what  was  going  on  until  she  had  my  per- 
mission.     Then  three  or  four  pairs  of  willing  hands 

TASIUSAK,  73°  24'  N.  LAT. 

The  Most  Northerly  Settlement  in  the  World  with  Permanent  Civilised 

brought  up  from  the  boat  a  case  of  oranges,  another 
of  lemons,  a  big  watermelon,  and  half  a  dozen  pine- 
apples, all  of  which  had  been  purchased  and  carefully 
treasured  during  the  voyage  for  this  occasion.  They 
were  unpacked  and  piled  upon  the  billiard  table,  and 
round  them  were  placed  several  souvenirs  for  the 
members  of  the  family,  including  a  silver  mug  for  my 
godchild,  now  a  stalwart  little  fellow  of  seven.  Then 
Mrs.  Andersen  was  requested  to  come  in. 

Philadelphia  to  Cape  York  25 

Never  shall  I  forget  the  expression  on  the  good 
woman's  face  and  the  way  her  eyes  filled  with  tears 
as  she  entered  the  room,  now  redolent  with  the  per- 
fumes of  the  tropics,  and  saw  the  table  loaded  down 
with  fruits  which  she  had  not  seen  for  years  and 
years.  She  could  hardly  desist  from  picking  up  the 
pineapples  and  oranges  and  inhaling  their  perfume  ; 
and  if  ever  there  were  happy  children  they  were  those 
of  the  Andersen  family  as  they  rushed  away  with  an 
oranofe  in  each  hand. 

We  got  underway  a  little  before  ten  in  the  evening 
and  reached  Upernavik  at  five  o'clock  in  the  afternoon 
of  the  second  day. 

The  fog  was  our  most  persistent  enemy.  When- 
ever we  had  a  port  to  make  all  the  way  north  from 
Battle  Harbour,  Labrador,  to  Upernavik,  the  incessant 
fog  hampered  and  delayed  us.  It  had  already  cost 
me  days  of  time,  wasted  in  trying  to  find  the  entrance 
to  the  various  harbours. 

At  Upernavik,  where  I  had  counted  on  finding  a 
large  supply  of  good  dogs,  I  was  disappointed  in  find- 
ing that  I  could  obtain  at  most  ten  or  eleven,  as  the 
others  were  scattered  about  the  limits  of  the  colony, 
on  outlying  islands  and  distant  settlements,  and  it 
had  been  impossible  to  gather  them  in.  I  found  Gov- 
ernor Olsen  now  in  charge  at  Upernavik,  and  anxious 
to  be  of  all  possible  assistance,  like  the  officials  of  all 
the  other  ports  where  I  stopped.  Here  too  I  met  my 
old  friend  of  1886,  Pastor  Morch,  the  only  ordained 
Eskimo  pastor  in  Greenland.  Our  stay  at  Uper- 
navik was  only  long  enough  to  get  the  dogs  on  board, 
and  also  a  native  pilot,  Andreas  Peters,  who  was  to 
show  us  the  way  to  Tasiusak,  forty  miles  to  the  north- 
ward, where  the  Governor  informed  me  he  was  confi- 
dent I  could  obtain  a  number  of  very  good  dogs. 

Steaming  away  from  Upernavik  and  out  from  under 

26         Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

the  majestic  peak  of  Sanderson's  Hope,  we  reached 
Tasiusak  at  two  o'clock  in  the  mornino-.  When  I 
turned  out,  we  were  within  one  hundred  yards  of  the 
most  northerly  house  occupied  by  civilised  man  on  the 
face  of  the  globe.  This  one  house,  surrounded  by 
Eskimo  huts,  forms  Tasiusak.  Here  I  obtained  seven- 
teen good  dogs. 

Our  stay  at  Tasiusak  was  only  an  hour  and  a  half, 
and  we  then  steamed  northward  again  with  eighty- 
seven  dogs  on  board.  If  ever  there  was  pandemo- 
nium  on  a  ship  it  was   on   the  Falcon,  with  nearly  a 


hundred  of  these  howling,  fighting,  restless  brutes  on 
board.  It  was  impossible  to  keep  them  fastened,  and 
they  were  over  and  into  everything.  The  boys  gave 
them  the  name  of  "Arctic  roosters,"  from  their  sleep- 
disturbing  peculiarities. 

The  Falcon  arrived  at  the  Duck  Islands  on  the 
south  side  of  Melville  Bay  about  noon,  and,  after  land- 
ing a  party  on  the  eastern  island,  she  steamed  over  to 
the  outer  islands  and  anchored  in  nine  fathoms  of 
water,  just  in  the  passage  between  the  two.  A  second 
party  landed  on  the  inner  island,  while  another,  includ- 

Philadelphia  to  Cape  York 


ing  Mrs.  Peary  and  myself,  landed  on  the  outer  one. 

We  found  birds  very  scarce,  and  the  few  remain- 
ing females  were  very  wild,  probably  the  result  of  five 
whalers  stopping  there  during  June. 

The  outer  island  is  the  highest  of  the  group,  and 
climbing  to  its  summit,  which  by  my  aneroid  is  260  feet 
above  the  sea-level,  I  found  perched  upon  it  a  circular 
stone  wall  breast-high,  with  an  opening  to  the  south. 


This  is  the  Whalers'  Lookout,  from  which,  early  in  the 
season,  they  scan  the  north  and  north-west  for  a  favour- 
able lead  through  which  their  vessels  may  make  their 
way  through  the  ice. 

A  few  feet  south-west  of  this  lookout,  the  island 
ends  in  a  vertical  cliff,  from  which,  as  I  drew  near, 
two  ravens  sailed  out,  probably  a  nesting  pain  Turn- 
ing northward   from  the  summit,   there  is  a  gradual 


Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice 

descent  over  a  muddy,  rocky  slope  strewn  with 
patches  of  yellow  poppies,  down  to  the  northern  point 
of  the  island.  Part  way  down,  on  a  bluff,  facing 
west,  are  half  a  dozen  piles  of  stone,  the  rude  graves 
of  sailors  who  died  while  waiting  for  their  ships  to  get 

through  the  bay  ;  and  as 
if  with  kindly  meaning, 
even  on  this  barren  rock 
nature  had  sprinkled 
the  poppies  more  abun- 
dantly about  these 
heaps  of  stone  than  at 
any  other  point  on  the 

From  the  Whalers' 
Lookout,  Horsehead  to 
the  south,  Cape  Shackle- 
ton  to  the  south-east. 
Sugar  Loaf  to  the  east, 
and  Wilcox  Head  to  the 
north-east  are  distinctly 
visible.  These  islands 
are  shown  without  any 
attempt  at  accuracy 
on  the  present  charts. 
Their  number  is  three 
instead  of  two  as 
indicated.  The  two 
westward  islands  are 
separated  by  a  very 
narrow  passage.  The 
most  western  and  southern  of  these  two  islands  pre- 
sents to  the  sea  a  vertical  cliff  towards  the  south-west, 
and  its  highest  point  is  260  feet  above  the  sea-level. 
It  commands  the  entire  horizon.  Sloping  to  the 
north,  it  ends  in  a  rocky  point,  and  to  the  west,  some- 


Philadelphia  to  Cape  York  29 

what  south  of  this  point,  is  a  beach,  if  the  term  may 
be  used,  composed  of  the  whitest  cobble-stones.  Some 
two  hundred  yards  or  more  to  the  west  of  the  centre 
portion  of  this  island  is  a  rock  which  is  bare  at  low 
water.  About  midway  of  the  channel  between  these 
islands  there  is  a  rock,  presumably  the  one  on  which 
the  Panther  struck  ;  south  of  this  there  is  an  anchor- 
ao^e  of  ten  fathoms. 

The  second  or  middle  island  is  long  and  compara- 
tively low,  its  western  face  being  precipitous  and  drop- 
ping at  an  angle  of  30^  The  top  of  this  face  forms 
a  nearly  straight  ridge  along  the  western  side  of  the 
island,  and  is  the  highest  part  of  the  island.  East- 
ward this  ridge  slopes  down  to  a  low,  flat  valley,  ris- 
ing aeain  to  a  similar  but  somewhat  lower  rid^e  on 
the  eastern  side  of  the  island.  The  southern  end  of 
this  valley  is  occupied  by  a  little  shallow  pond,  from 
which  a  small  brook  trickles  away  to  the  southern  end 
of  the  island.  There  is  also  another  pond  formed  by 
a  dyke  thrown  across  the  northern  part  of  the  island 
by  the  action  of  the  sea  and  possibly  the  effect  of  the 
piling  ice. 

North  of  this  island  are  three  rocks  projecting  from 
the  water,  and  about  two  miles  north  of  east  of  it  is 
the  third  island  of  the  group,  presenting  round  emi- 
nences of  rock  at  both  its  northern  and  southern  ends, 
with  a  valley  of  shallow  depression  between  them. 
The  leno-th  of  the  middle  island  is  something  like  a 
mile,  the  eastern  island  about  the  same,  and  the 
extreme  western  island  somewhat  shorter.  All  the 
islands  are  covered  with  glacial  detritus,  and  show 
the  effects  of  crlacial  action. 

The  three  islands  have  been  in  times  past  a  great 
resort  for  eider-ducks,  but  the  whalers  eoino-  north 
have  been  in  the  habit  of  stopping  to  get  eggs  and 
ducks,  and  this,  with  the  fact  that  for  the  last  three 


Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice 

seasons  the  ducks  have  been  attacked  later  during  the 
season,  may  account  for  their  being  scarce,  and  they 
may  have  sought  other  breeding-places.  The  result 
of  five  hours'  shooting  was  only  about  forty  birds. 
Quite  a  number  of  other  species  were  noted  on  the 
island,  but  we  only  obtained  four.  These  were  two 
black  guillemots,  a  young  brant,  and  three  burgo- 
master gulls.  The 
other  birds  seen 
were  a  snow-owl,  a 
pair  of  BriJnnich's 
guillemots,  ravens, 
two  sand-pipers — 
variety  unknown — 
and  also  numbers 
of  snow-buntings. 
On  the  southern 
end  of  the  middle 
island,  where  the 
brook  comes  to 
the  sea,  there  is  a 
coarse,  rocky  apol- 
ogy for  a  beach, 
and  there  is  also 
a  short  beach  of 
round  cobble- 
stones on  the  east- 
ern side  of  the  outer 
island,  about  mid- 
way of  the  passage 
between  the  two  islands,  and  this  would  be  about  the 
only  available  landing-place  in  heavy  weather  on  this 

At  eight  P.M.  on  July  31st,  with  the  temperature  42° 
F.,  we  fairly  began  the  passage  of  the  dreaded  Melville 
Bay.     We  left  the  Duck  Islands  at  4:40  o'clock,  our 


Philadelphia  to  Cape  York 


course  beine  N.  N.  E.  maoj^netic.  There  was  not  a 
cloud  in  the  sky.  The  wind  was  light  and  directly 
ahead.  A  few  large  bergs  were  scattered  around  the 
horizon,  but  otherwise  we  were  sailing  over  a  summer 
sea  where  two  years  and  a  month  before  we  had 
battled  with  the  pack   ice   nearly   every   inch  of  our 


way  for  three  dreary  weeks.  There  was  no  ice  sky, 
and  all  the  indications  were  for  pleasant  weather  for 
the  next  day  or  two.  My  hopes  began  to  rise  that 
we  should  beat  the  record.  I  promised  each  fireman 
one  pound  sterling  if  we  beat  thirty  hours,  and  one 
dollar  additional  for  every  hour  under  this.  The 
offer  of  a  reward  for  good  time  across  the  bay  had 

32         Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

its  effect,  and  all  through  the  night  the  Falcons 
propeller  pulsated  with  unaccustomed  rapidity.  The 
water  was  absolutely  smooth,  without  the  slightest 
indication  of  wave  or  swell,  and  during  much  of  the 
time  there  was  a  perfect  calm.  At  10:45  ^-^i-'  after 
leaving  the  Duck  Islands,  we  ran  into  a  stream  of 
loose  pan  ice,  and  steamed  through  it  for  four  hours  and 
a  half.  Some  of  these  pans  were  of  considerable  size, 
but  all  of  the  ice  was  so  thin  and  rotten  that  it  was 
hardly  more  than  water-saturated  snow,  and  its  resist- 


ance  was  so  slight  that  no  attempt  was  made  to  avoid 
the  pans,  but  the  ship  kept  right  on  her  course  through 
them.  About  four  a.m.  there  was  fog  for  a  short  time, 
but  after  that  there  was  the  same  brilliant,  calm 
weather  as  during  the  preceding  night. 

At  ten  o'clock,  the  course  was  changed  to  east  by 
north  for  Cape  York,  and  at  1 1:30  a.m.  the  cape  itself 
was  seen  directly  ahead  of  us  ;  and  now  we  ran  up  the 
fore-and-afters  to  take  advantage  of  the  light  north- 
easterly breeze  which  had  sprung  up.  The  cape  was 
apparently  about  forty  miles  distant,  and  if  this  was 

Philadelphia  to  Cape  York  33 

the  case,  the  prospects  were  very  fair  for  our  complet- 
ing the  passage  in  twenty-four  hours. 

Flocks  of  little  auks  had  been  swimming  in  the  water 
since  ten  o'clock  in  the  morning,  and  this  in  itself  in- 
dicated the  proximity  of  land. 

The  temperature  of  the  air  was  40°  F.,  and  the  water 
39°,  showing  that  there  had  been  no  considerable 
amount  of  ice  in  this  portion  of  the  bay  for  a  long  time. 

As  we  neared  the  northern  edge  of  the  bay,  the 
north-east  wind  filled  our  fore-and-afters,  relieving  the 
engines  from  the  drag  of  the  ship's  spars  and  masts, 
the  water  was  as  smooth  as  glass,  the  little  auks  were 
flying  and  swimming  about  in  every  direction,  and  the 
firemen  down  in  the  stoke-hole,  incited  by  my  promise 
of  reward,  were  literally  standing  over  the  fire,  raking 
the  ashes  here,  putting  fresh  coal  on  there,  stirring 
the  fire  in  another  place,  and  watching  the  steam 
gauge  to  see  that  the  pressure  never  relaxed.  It  was 
an  exhilarating  sight  to  see  the  white  foam  rolling 
backward  from  the  Falcons  iron-clad  bow.  Higher 
and  higher  the  black  cliffs  of  the  cape  rose  straight  be- 
fore us.  Farther  and  farther  up  to  the  westward  to- 
wards Conical  Rock,  the  familiar  coast-line  rose  into 
view  ;  and  at  last,  at  full  speed,  with  the  Stars  and 
Stripes  and  the  Expedition  flag  rustling  in  the  breeze, 
the  good  ship  Falcon  dashed  past  the  point  of  the  cape 
into  the  bay  just  eastward.  She  had  made  the  pas- 
sage of  Melville  Bay  in  twenty-four  hours  and  fifty 
minutes,  the  quickest  run  on  record. 



No  News  of  Verhoeff — Capk  York — Northward  along  the  Coast — 
BowDOiN  Bay  —  House-Building — Landing  the  Burros  —  Death  of 
Megipsu — The  Walrus  Hunt — Tons  of  Meat — A  Narrow  Escape — 
Cape  Alexander  and  Littleton  Island— The  Unbroken  Pack — Site  of 
Polaris  House — A  Dirty  Night — Deer  Pastures  of  Olriks  Bay — Back 
to  Falcon  Harbour,  .-- 




ONE  of  the  natives 
at  Cape  York  had 
seen  or  heard  any- 
thing of  Verhoeff. 

I  rowed  out  to  the  bluffs 
of  the  cape  and  chmbed  to 
their  crest. 

There  is  no  trace  of  the 
summit  ever  havincr  been 
visited  by  any  except  the 
natives,  one  or  two  of 
whose  fox-traps  I  found  on 
top,  and  I  do  not  recall  any  record  of  the  ascent  having 
been  made,  though  it  is  quite  likely  that  it  has  been  ac- 
complished, as  it  is  not  difficult.  Certain  it  is,  however, 
that  never  were  the  conditions  more  perfect  for  an  out- 
look from  the  cape  than  now.  The  edge  of  the  ice- 
cap came  right  down  to  the  head  of  the  ravine,  up  which 
we  climbed,  and  as  I  stepped  upon  it  I  remembered 
that  it  was  five  days  less  than  a  year  since  I  had  stepped 
from  its  edge  a  little  farther  north  on  the  completion 
of  my  trip  to  the  north-east  coast  of  Greenland.  Af- 
ter enjoying  the  prospect  for  a  few  moments,  a  cairn 
was  erected,  and  a  bottle  containing  a  record  of  the 
visit  deposited  in  it.       After  a  round  of  views  from 



8         Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice 

Cape  York,  I  descended  and  pulled  out  to  the  ship, 
which  then  steamed  west  and  north-west  along  the 

During  August  ist  and  2d,  we  steamed  north  along 
the  coast,  and  two  to  five  miles  from  it.  On  the  after- 
noon of  the  second  day,  we  were  approaching  bold 
Cape  Parr)',  with  its  bristling,  vertical  wall  facing  the 
west  and  north-west,  standing  guard  at  the  southern 
entrance  of  Whale  Sound.  Some  time  before  round- 
ing Cape  Parry,  the  observer,  coming  north,  sees 
Hakluyt  and  Northumberland  Islands.      During  the 


long  summer  days,  the  water  about  Cape  Parry  is  alive 
with  the  whirrinor  wino-s  and  Q-leamine  white  breasts  of 
countless  little  auks  that  breed  in  that  neio^hbourhood. 

Rounding  Cape  Parry,  the  course  of  the  Falavi  was 
directly  towards  the  opening  between  Herbert  and 
Northumberland  Islands.  The  Inland  Ice  beyond 
the  glaciers  in  Omenak  or  Murchison  Sound  was  dis- 
tinctly visible.  From  Cape  Parry,  in  pleasant  weather, 
the  bold  bluffs  of  the  Carey  Islands  are  visible  to  the 

Keeping  along  the  shore  to  Barden  Bay,  I  landed  at 
the  settlement  of  Netiulumi  and  took  on  board  two 
Eskimos,  Kessuh  and  Myah,  whom  I  found  there,  with 

House-Building  and  Hunting 


their  families  and  all  their  belongings.  At  eight  a.m. 
on  August  3d,  we  entered  the  mouth  of  Bowdoin  Bay- 
in  Inglefield  Gulf.  The  bay  was  dotted  with  icebergs, 
just  as  it  was  on  August  4th  last,  when  Astrup  and  I 
looked  down  into  it  from  the  Inland  Ice.  We  found 
a  fresh  breeze  blowing  out  of  the  bay  against  us,  but 
as  there  was  no  pan  ice,  and  the  icebergs  were  scat- 


tered,  we  were  able  easily  to  avoid  them  and  keep  on 
to  Anniversary  Camp,  in  the  eastern  angle  of  the  bay 
head.  We  reached  the  little  rock-walled  harbour  at 
9:30  A.M.,  and  at  ten  o'clock  the  Falcon  was  safely 
moored  within  a  stone's  throw  of  the  rocks,  aft  and  on 
either  beam,  and  with  her  head  pointing  straight  down 
the  bay. 

The  harbour  is  a  perfect  one.  The  anchor  ahead 
was  down  in  fifteen  fathoms,  and  there  were  eight 
fathoms  under  the  ship's  stern. 

As  soon  as  the  anchor  went  over  I  went  ashore  to 
decide  upon  the  precise  site  of  the  house,  so  that  the 
stores  might  be  landed  directly  in  front  of  it.  I  found 
the  ring  of  stones,  which  had  been  used  to  hold  our 


Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice 

tent  down  when  Mrs.  Peary  and  I  were  here  on  Aug- 
ust I  ith,  a  year  ago,  just  as  they  had  been  left,  and  the 
site  of  the  house  was  selected  within  fifty  feet  of  the 
former  site  of  our  tent. 

As  soon  as  the  reconnaissance  for  the  house  site  was 
completed,  I  went  back  to  the  ship,  and  turned  in  to 
obtain  a  few  hours  of  much-needed  sleep,  for  I  had 
been  up  the  last  two  nights,  taking  advantage  of  the 


exquisite  weather  and  the  opportunity  of  making  pho- 
tographs, and  noting  the  peculiarities  of  these  shores. 

Then  began  the  work  of  unloading  the  stores  and 
building  the  house.  Sunday  was  a  day  of  rest,  and 
most  of  the  party  took  advantage  of  it  to  sleep  through 
a  good  part  of  the  forenoon.  It  was  a  raw,  disagree- 
able day. 

Monday,  August  7th,  was  another  disagreeable  day, 

House-Building  and  Hunting  41 

with  occasional  showers  and  one  or  two  transitory 
gHmpses  of  the  sun.  Everyone  was  at  work  upon 
the  house,  and  every  frame  was  up  and  in  place  when 
we  went  to  dinner. 

During  the  afternoon  a  start  was  made  on  the  first 
shell  of  tarred-paper  covering.  With  all  the  frames 
up,  the  work  progressed  more  rapidly. 

.  «'»4_k    -*  .e:Sp«_-_:ai  ^"Ti^ii 

Bowdoin  Glacier  and  Sentinel  Nunatak  in  the  Distance. 

Late  in  the  afternoon,  the  burros  were  landed,  and 
immediately  afterwards  we  had  quite  a  little  excite- 
ment in  connection  with  them.  Two  were  landed 
first  and  taken  to  their  stables,  built  of  bales  of  hay, 
where  they  were  carelessly  left  by  one  of  the  younger 


Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice 

members  of  the  party,  who  went  to  the  shore  to  bring 
up  another  burro  that  was  coming  off.  A  minute 
later,  as  I  was  standing  near  the  house,  I  heard  a 
shout  from  the  ship  and  a  commotion  in  the  direc- 
tion of  the  stable,  and  looking  there  I  saw  one  of  the 
poor  burros  coming  at  full  speed  over  the  rocks,  bray- 
ing at  the  top  of  his  voice,  and  with  thirty  or  forty  of 


August  3-12,  1893. 

the  doo^s  after  him.  He  was  sensible  enough  to  run 
directly  towards  us  for  protection.  We  drove  the 
dogs  off,  and  then  hurried  towards  the  stable,  where 
we  found  a  pack  of  the  dogs  worrying  the  second 
burro,  which  had  been  unable  to  free  himself.  Driv- 
ing the  dogs  off,  we  found  that  this  poor  little  fellow 
had  been  bitten  quite  seriously,  though  not  danger- 
ously.     After  this  the  burros  were  carefully  guarded 

House-Building  and  Hunting  43 

from  the  ship  to  the  stable,  and  a  watch  set  over 
them  there. 

The  dogs  acted  like  wolves,  and  yet  I  think  that  I 
should  have  had  little  trouble  with  them  if  they  had 
not  already  become  accustomed  to  the  scent  and  taste 
of  the  burros,  two  or  three  of  them  having  been  fed 
to  the  dogs  while  on  board  ship. 

August  1 2th,  about  noon,  the  Falcon  got  under 
way  on  her  cruise  for  our  winter's  meat  supply.  I 
had  on  board  my  two  Eskimo  hunters,  Myah  and 
Kessuh,  with  their  kayaks,  walrus  harpoons,  lines, 
lances,  floats,  and  drags.  I  had  told  them  the  object 
of  the  ship's  trip,  and  they  were  wild  with  excitement 
at  the  idea  of  going  on  the  oomiaksoak  (big  ship)  to 
hunt  azvick  (walrus). 

As  we  got  under  way,  the  sun  broke  through  the 
morning  clouds,  bringing  out  in  their  most  varied 
hues  the  brilliant  and  manifold  colours  of  the  cliffs  of 
Bowdoin  Bay.  There  was  not  a  breath  of  air,  and 
each  iceberg  in  the  bay  found  its  double  in  a  perfect 
mirror  on  the  smooth  water  surface.  A  little  more 
than  an  hour's  winding  in  and  out  among  the  bergs 
brought  us  to  the  entrance  of  the  bay,  and,  passing 
the  brilliant  red-brown  Castle  Cliffs  on  our  left,  we 
steamed  along  westward  close  under  the  grand,  grey 
Sculptured  Cliffs  of  Karnah. 

Inglefield  Gulf  opened  out  behind  us,  deep  blue  in 
colour,  dotted  with  occasional  Icebergs,  and  canopied 
with  the  sky  of  Italy.  The  Hurlbut  and  Hubbard 
Glaciers  pushed  their  burnished  fronts  out  from  the 
cliffs  on  either  side  In  the  foreground  ;  and  far  up  at 
the  head  of  the  gulf,  the  mighty  sweep  of  the  great 
Heilprln  Glacier  glistened  like  a  polished  silver  shield. 
xA.t  the  western  end  of  the  Sculptured  Cliffs  of  Kar- 
nah, the  character  of  the  shore  changes  completely 
from  vertical  grey  cliffs,  descending  directly  Into  the 


Northward  over  the  '*  Great  Ice  " 

water,  with  the  ice-cap  showing  at  the  very  front  of 
their  crests,  to  a  flat,  low  fore-shore,  rising  into  gradu- 
ahy  sloping  hills,  with  hanging  glaciers  descending 
into  the  ravines  between  them. 

Beginning  at  Karnah  also,  shoal  water  extends  in 
a  nearly  semicircular  curve  along  the  northern  shore 
of  the  Sound  out  to  Cape  Cleveland.  Just  where  this 
change  in  the  character  of  the  coast  takes  place,  in  a 



luxuriant  grassy  meadow  coming  directly  to  the  shore, 
is  the  Eskimo  settlement  of  Karnah,  consisting,  in 
the  winter-time,  of  two  double  stone  igloos  close  to 
the  shore,  and  a  third  single  one,  perhaps  a  hundred 
yards  back.  In  the  summer-time,  the  settlement  is 
composed  of  a  variable  number  of  tupiks,  from  two 
to  a  half-dozen.  Just  now,  there  were  three  tupiks, 
occupied,  as  we  had  already  learned  from  the  natives 

House-Building  and  Hunting 


with  us,  by  Annowkah,  Nipsangwah,  his  brother,  and 
Arngoodloo,  and  their  famihes.  Annowkah,  with  his 
wife,  Megipsu,  the  "  Daisy,"  had  been  among  the 
permanent  attaches  of  Red  Cliff  House,  and  Nip- 
sangwah, his  brother,  had  visited  Red  Cliff  on  two  or 
three  occasions.  Arngoodloo,  however,  was  a  new 
acquaintance,  a  strong,  healthy,  fresh-looking  young 


I  stopped  here  and  went  in  a  boat  to  get  a  couple 
of  these  men,  with  additional  walrus  harpoons  and 
floats,  to  assist  us  in  the  hunt.  As  I  landed  I  was  met 
by  the  sorrowful  news  that  Megipsu,  our  faithful,  in- 
telligent seamstress  at  Red  Cliff  House,  had  died  only 
two  days  before,  and  Annowkah,  with  the  little  or- 
phaned Koodlooktoo,  was  sitting  silent  and  sorrowful 
in  the  gloomy  tupik.      Nipsangwah  would  not  leave 

46         Northward  over  the  ''  Great  Ice  " 

his  brother,  and  so  Arngoodloo  was  the  only  recruit 
whom  I  could  obtain  here.  I  brought  him  on  board 
with  his  walrus-line,  harpoon,  lance,  and  float,  and  then 
steamed  on  towards  the  walrus  grounds  lying  between 
the  eastern  end  of  Herbert  Island  and  Cape  Cleveland. 
As  we  approached  Herbert  Island,  we  passed  through 
the  field  of  magnificent  icebergs  which  always  hover 
about  this  locality  ;  and  just  before  getting  abreast  of 


the  eastern  end  of  the  island,  the  whole  northern  coast, 
from  Peterahwik  to  distant,  blue  Cape  Alexander, 
opened  up  past  Cape  Cleveland. 

Nothing  could  present  a  greater  contrast  than  the 
conditions  here  now  and  those  we  met  in  the  two 
previous  seasons.  Two  years  ago  this  very  day,  Gib- 
son, Dr.  Cook,  Astrijp,  and  Verhoeff  started  on  their 
journey  from   Red  Cliff    House  to   Herbert,    North- 

House-Building  and  Hunting  47 

umberland,  and  Hakluyt  Islands,  and  were  obliged 
to  pick  their  way  through  several  miles  of  floating  ice. 
A  year  ago  this  very  day,  with  Mrs.  Peary  and  my 
Eskimo  crew,  in  the  whale-boat  Alary  Peary,  I  passed 
through  the  same  waters,  and  found  large  quantities 
of  floatinof  ice  and  numbers  of  largfe  floes.  Now,  not 
a  pan  or  bit  of  floe  ice  was  to  be  seen  in  any  direction. 
There  were  only  icebergs  and  the  fragments  which 
had  been  broken  off  from  them.  As  ice-floes  and 
cakes  of  ice  are  the  favourite  resorts  of  the  walrus,  it 
beean  to  look  as  thoup^h  we  misfht  not  be  successful 
in  getting  them,  and  both  Captain  Bartlett  and  I 
scanned  the  horizon  very  sharply. 

It  was  2:30  P.M.  and  we  were  just  about  abreast  of 
the  eastern  end  of  Herbert  Island,  when  we  saw  three 
walrus  upon  a  little  cake  of  ice  which  we  had  passed 
at  some  distance.  Both  whale-boats,  the  Faith  and 
the  Mary  Peary,  were  lowered,  with  three  or  four 
men  in  each  to  pull,  and  one  of  the  Eskimos  with  his 
harpoon,  line,  and  float  in  the  bow.  Through  my 
glasses  I  watched  the  boats  approach  the  unsuspecting 
animals,  which  seemed  to  be  asleep.  A  little  later  the 
sharp  crack  of  a  rifle  from  the  Captain's  boat,  and  the 
plunge  of  one  animal  only  into  the  water,  while  the 
other  two  remained  upon  the  ice-cake,  showed  me 
that  the  Captain  had  started  the  score  with  two  of  the 
great  brutes  to  his  credit. 

By  this  time  I  had  discovered  numbers  of  other 
walrus,  singly,  and  in  groups  of  twos,  threes,  and  tens, 
west  of  us,  near  the  shores  of  Herbert  Island  ;  and  as 
soon  as  the  Falcon  had  swune  round  and  hoisted  the 
two  dead  walrus  on  board,  we  steamed  away  in  that 
direction.  Only  a  mile  or  so  had  been  covered,  when 
cakes  of  ice  were  seen  on  either  bow,  each  carrying 
apparently  ten  or  fifteen  of  the  animals. 

Boats  were  quickly  lowered   and   pulled  away,  one 


Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  " 

in  each  direction.  Soon  the  sharp  reports  of  the  rifles 
from  both  boats,  and  the  hoarse  bellowing  of  the 
walrus  showed  that  the  sport  had  really  commenced. 

For  the  next  ten  hours  the  sport  continued.  As 
fast  as  the  walrus  were  killed  they  were  either  secured 
to  a  cake  of  ice,  or  to  a  sealskin  or  cask  float,  and 
were  then  left  for  the  ship  to  pick  up  while  the  boat 
pulled  away  after  more  victims.      The  Falcon  steamed 


about  from  float  to  float,  and  ice -cake  to  ice -cake, 
hoistino-  in  dead  animals  and  lowerintr  them  into  the 
hold,  and  from  time  to  time  the  boats  came  to  the  ship 
for  lines  and  floats.  At  midnight,  there  were  twenty- 
four  of  the  great,  unwieldy  masses  of  flesh  in  the  hold 
of  the  Falcon. 

It  was  a  strangle  sio^ht  to  see   these  uncouth  Qriants 

House-Buildino-  and  Huntino-  49 

^       ^xx^        ^^^ s^ 

of  the  deep  as  diey  were  hoisted  aboard  ship  by  a 
rope  passed  through  a  loop  cut  in  the  inch-thick  skin 
at  the  back  of  the  neck,  the  savage  tusks  gleaming 
from  the  great  mouths  surrounded  by  coarse  bristles, 
and  the  eyes  bloodshot  with  the  rage  and  pain  of  the 
death  strueo^le.  Sometimes  a  hu^e  carcass  would 
slip  from  the  hook  as  it  was  being  lowered  through 
the  hatchway,  and,  falling  into  the  hold,  the  old  /vz/- 
C07i.  would  tremble  from  stem  to  stern  with  the  shock. 


Entrance  of  Bowdoin  Bay. 

The  sight  in  the  hold  itself  after  the  animals  were 
all  aboard  was  even  more  striking.  Nearly  twenty 
tons  of  brown,  unwieldy,  misshapen  meat  were  piled  in 
confusion,  just  as  the  animals  had  been  lowered  be- 
low decks.  Yet  to  me  it  was  a  most  pleasing  sight, 
because  it  meant  ample  food  for  all  my  dogs  and  my 
native  dependants  through  the  winter. 

The  presence  of  the  Falcon  seemed  to  render  the 


Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice 

animals  a  little  less  pugnacious  than  usual,  and  only 
in  two  instances  was  there  any  excitement. 

An  exciting  event  of  the  evening  was  the  narrow 
escape  of  one  of  the  ship's  men.  A  walrus  had  been 
shot  upon  a  cake  of  ice,  and  the  boat  was  alongside 
with  one  man  on  the  cake  with  the  walrus.  As  the 
Falcon  forged  alongside  she  just  touched  the  ice-cake, 
breaking  off  a  piece  from  under  water,  which  as  it 


rose  struck  the  bow  of  the  Mmy  Peary,  lifting  it  high 
out  of  the  water  and  sending  the  boat  back  fifty  feet 
or  more  away  from  the  cake.  At  the  same  instant 
the  cake,  with  the  man  and  the  walrus  on  it,  began 
rolling  over,  and  an  instant  later  had  capsized  com- 
pletely, throwing  the  man  into  the  water  under  the 
ship's  stern,  and,  as  it  seemed  from  the  bridge,  directly 
upon  the  blades  of  the  propeller,  which  at  the  instant 
was  turning  backward  to  stop  the  ship. 

House-Buildino-  and  Huntino^  51 

A  jump  for  the  entrine  lever  on  the  bridge  and  the 
propeller  was  stopped,  and  the  next  instant  everyone 
rushed  aft  to  throw  a  line  to  the  man.  Suddenly  we 
heard  the  cry,  "  I  'm  all  right,"  coming  up  through  the 


rudder  well,  and  looking  down  we  saw  the  sailor 
clinging  to  the  rudder  itself.  By  this  time  the  boat 
had  recovered  from  the  impetus  that  sent  it  adrift, 
and,  pulling  up  under  the  stern,  released  the  man  from 
his  unpleasant  position.  A  liberal  portion  of  my  best 
whiskey,  which  followed  the  plucky  fellow  as  he  went 

52  Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

dripping  into  the  forecastle  to  change  his  clothes, 
made  him  regard  the  affair  much  in  the  light  of  a  joke. 
At  one  A.M.  on  August  13th,  the  Falcon  passed  Cape 
Cleveland,  steaming  northward  for  Cape  Alexander, 
and  an  hour  later  everyone  on  board,  except  the  men 
on  duty,  turned  in,  thoroughly  tired  with  the  day's 
efforts  and  excitement.  At  8:30  A.M.,  as  I  awoke,  we 
were  just  passing  Cape  Alexander,  and  I  could  see 
the  bold  headland  through  my  stateroom  port,  di- 
rectly abeam,   and  only  two    or  three  miles  distant. 


Going  on  deck,  I  had  my  first  view  of  the  Crystal 
Palace  Glacier,  then  of  Pandora  Harbour  ;  then  a  little 
farther  along,  I  looked  into  Foulke  Fjord,  with 
Brother  John's  Glacier  at  its  head,  localities  and  ob- 
jects that  had  been  vividly  pictured  by  the  pen  of  Dr. 
Hayes.  At  10  o'clock,  we  were  abreast  of  Littleton 
Island.  Off  the  entrance  of  Foulke  Fjord,  we  saw  a 
few  pans  of  ice,  and  by  the  time  we  reached  Littleton 
Island  the  water  was  covered  with  them,  the  passage 
between  Littleton  and  the  mainland  being  apparently 

House-Building  and  Hunting  53 

Though  the  morning  was  overcast  and  it  was  very 
black  and  thick  to  the  south,  the  western  shore  from 
below  Cape  Isabella  to  Cape  Sabine  was  distinctly- 
visible,  and  Cape  Hawkes  could  be  made  out  to  the 
northward.  The  Falcon's  head  was  pointed  directly 
at  Cape  Sabine,  but  at  11:30  a.m.,  in  about  the  lati- 
tude of  Cairn  Point,  we  came  up  to  the  edge  of  the 
unbroken  ice,  and  were  compelled  to  bear  away  to  the 
westward.       A   careful   survey   of  the   horizon,    made 

Typical  Ice-Cap  Reflection  above  Glacier. 

with  our  best  o-lasses  from  the  masthead,  showed  the 
edo^e  of  the  Kane  Basin  ice,  extending  in  an  unbroken 
line,  unintersected  by  a  single  lead  or  crack,  from 
Cairn  Point  to  the  western  shore  at  Cape  Isabella. 
A  few  large  floes  were  out  in  the  centre  of  the  Sound, 
but  with  the  exception  of  these  there  was  no  loose 
ice  except  along  the  eastern  shore  from  Littleton 
Island  up  to  Cairn  Point.  Although  it  looked  very 
thick  and  black  to  the   south  of  us,  it  was  bright  and 

54         Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

clear  to  the  north.  A  fresh  northerly  breeze  was 
blowing  off  the  ice,  and  the  temperature  of  the  air  was 
34°  F.  Clouds  hung  over  the  upper  portion  of  the 
shore  from  Cape  Isabella  south,  but  Cape  Sabine  was 
clear,  and  from  the  masthead  could  be  seen  Cape 
Louis  Napoleon  to  the  north,  while  Cape  Ingersoll 
and  Cape  Frederick  VII.  stood  out  clearly. 

Countless  little  auks  were  perched  upon  and  swim- 
mine  alongr  the  edee  of  the  ice,  a  certain  s'lQ-n  of  the 
absence  of  any  open  pools  of  water  in  the  ice.  The 
ice  did  not  appear  particularly  rough  and  hummocky, 
and  a  hundred  yards  or  so  of  the  edge  of  it  were  thin 
and  rotten.  It  had  evidently  been  absolutely  undis- 
turbed thus  far  this  season. 

At  1 1 45  A.M.,  we  turned  back  towards  the  Greenland 
shore,  and,  keeping  along  the  edge  of  the  ice,  came 
nearly  into  the  coast  a  little  below  Cairn  Point  ;  then 
comine  down  alone  the  shore  we  saw  numbers  of 
walrus  in  the  water,  but  owing  to  the  overcast  day 
and  the  fresh  breeze  none  of  them  was  out  on  the  ice. 
When  abreast  of  Lifeboat  Cove  the  ship  was  stopped, 
and,  with  Mrs.  Peary,  the  Captain,  and  all  the  rest  of 
my  party,  I  went  ashore  in  the  boat  to  the  site  of 
Polaris  House. 

One  of  the  natives  with  us,  Kessuh,  as  a  boy  of 
twelve  or  fifteen,  had  been  here  at  Lifeboat  Cove  with 
his  parents  when  the  Polaris  party  were  here.  He 
took  us  at  once  to  the  site  of  the  house,  showed  us 
where  the  ship  was  run  on  the  rocks,  and  then  told 
us  how  she  afterwards  floated  off  and  drifted  down 
nearly  abreast  of  the  upper  end  of  Littleton  Island, 
and  sank  out  of  sieht.  The  site  of  the  house  and  its 
neighbourhood  were  littered  with  a  great  variety  of 
miscellaneous  articles  and  ship's  fittings,  but  everything 
in  the  way  of  wood  or  iron  that  could  be  made  use  of 
by  the   natives  had   disappeared.      Each   member   of 

House-Building-  and  Huntino^  55 


the  party  obtained  a  souvenir  of  some  kind,  among 
them  being  a  pair  of  ankle  irons,  a  pair  of  handcuffs, 
a  brass  hose  coupling,  and  various  brass  composition 
articles  of  ship  fittings.  A  number  of  these  articles 
bore  the  stamp  of  the  United  States  Navy  Yard  at 
Washington,  and  were  dated  from  1865  to  1870. 

In   a   little   bight   in   the   rocks,   just   north   of  the 
house,  was  a  tangled  mass  of  rope,  and  among  the 


August  13,  1893. 

rocks  directly  back  from  the  shore  there  were  scat- 
tered great  quantities  of  loose  leaves  of  various  books. 
Nowhere  along  the  coast  of  Greenland  have  I  seen 
such  a  desolate  strip  of  shore  as  the  site  of  Polaris 
House  and  its  neighbourhood,  and  the  first  glance 
shows  that  the  selection  of  the  site  was  not  a  matter 
of  choice,  but  of  the  direst  necessity. 

After  a  couple  of  hours  spent  in  examining  these 
barren    rocks,    we    returned    to    the    ship,    and    then 

56  Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

steamed  slowly  south  along  the  shore,  looking  for  a 
night's  anchorage  for  the  ship.  Passing  down  the 
channel  between  Littleton  Island  and  the  mainland, 
which  was  now  practically  free  of  ice,  a  look  was  taken 
at  the  little  cove  in  the  mainland  abreast  of  Littleton 
Island,  which  has  been  referred  to  by  some  authorities 
as  possibly  a  good  refuge.  The  impression  made  by 
it  was  not  satisfactory,  so  we  steamed  slowly  round 
Cape  Ohlsen  and  into  the  indentation  in  the  shore 
just  south   of  it.      The  appearance  of  this,   too,  was 

Between  Littleton  Island  and  Cape  Sabine.     August  13,  1893. 

not  satisfactory,  and  as  there  was  now  a  half-gale 
blowing  down  off  the  land,  just  the  kind  of  weather, 
in  fact,  that  Sir  Allen  Young  experienced  here  in  the 
Pandora  in  1876,  we  stood  out  into  the  ice  off  Little- 
ton Island  for  the  niorht. 

About  one  o'clock  next  morning,  a  party  landed  on 
McGary  Island  after  eider-ducks,  but  it  appeared  to 
be  a  little  bit  late  in  the  season,  and,  although  they 
found  numerous  caches  of  eggs  and  birds  made  by  the 
natives,  the  ducks  themselves  seemed  scarce  and  wild, 
and  only  about  twenty  were  bagged.      Coming  back 

House-Building  and  Hunting  57 

to  the  ship  for  breakfast,  the  ship  then  steamed  a  httle 
north  of  Littleton  Island  into  the  walrus  grounds,  and 
four  big  fellows  were  obtained  during  the  forenoon. 
As  all  the  animals,  however,  were  in  the  water,  it  was 
much  more  difficult  to  get  them  here  than  at  Herbert 
Island.  One  of  them  drove  both  his  tusks  through 
the  planking  of  the  Mary  Peary  before  he  was  killed. 


While  the  two  whale-boats  were  out  after  walrus,  I 
landed  in  a  small  boat  upon  the  inside  of  Littleton 
Island,  and  climbed  to  its  highest  point.  The  ruins 
of  two  or  three  cairns  were  seen,  but  there  was  no- 
thing in  them,  and  I  did  not  visit  the  site  of  the  Nares 
Cairn  on  the  north-western  point  of  the  island.  It  is 
a  terribly  desolate,  barren-looking  piece  of  rock,  and 
yet  in  the  little  pond  in  its  centre  several  ducks  were 
swimming,  and  I  saw  also  two  ravens,  two  burgo- 
master gulls,  and  one  hare,  while  all  around  the  island 
the  air  and  water  were  alive  with  little  auks. 

At  three  o'clock  the  weather  began  to  come  in  thick 

58         Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

from  the  south,  the  wahus  disappeared,  the  boats  re- 
turned, and  at  four  we  started  south  from  Sunrise 
Point  for  Hakluyt  Island.  At  six  o'clock  we  passed 
Cape  Alexander,  steaming  against  a  stiff  south-west 
breeze,  with  rain  and  a  pronounced  swell  from  the 
south.  Sonntag  Bay  and  George  W.  Childs  Glacier 
were  the  last  objects  that  we  saw  on  shore  before  the 
rain  and  fog  blotted  it  out.  What  sailors  call  a  dirty 
night  followed,  the  wind  coming  in  a  wild  gale  from 
the  south-west,  but,  fortunately  for  our  comfort,  it  did 
not  reach  its  maximum  intensity  until  after  midnight, 
when  we  were  already  to  a  certain  extent  under  the 
lee  of  Hakluyt  Island,  and  getting  more  and  more 
shelter  from  it  every  moment.  At  five  o'clock  in  the 
morning  the  wind  was  whistling  as  only  an  arctic  gale 
can  whistle,  but,  with  Hakluyt  and  Northumberland 
Islands  as  a  wind-guard,  we  were  very  comfortable. 
The  sea,  however,  made  any  attempt  at  landing  on 
Hakluyt  impracticable,  so  I  was  obliged  to  give  up 
my  proposed  foray  upon  the  bird  colonies  and  bear 
away  for  Olriks  Bay,  on  the  south  coast  of  Inglefield 
Gulf,  for  deer. 

I  know  of  no  grander  sight  in  all  this  Whale-Sound 
reorion  than  the  savag-e,  north-west-facino-  cliffs  of 
Northumberland  Island,  that  look  like  crouching  black 
lions  between  the  glaciers  which  sweep  around  their 
feet.  The  furious  south-wester  hid  their  summits  in 
ominous  grey  clouds,  and  lashed  the  waves  before 
them  into  a  mist  of  flying  spray.  As  we  steamed  east- 
ward into  Murchison  Sound  we  left  the  storm  behind 
us,  and  by  the  time  we  were  abreast  of  the  eastern 
end  of  Herbert  Island  we  were  sailine  in  a  summer 
sea,  with  the  warm  sunlight  beating  down  upon  the 

It  was  amusing  to  watch  the  relieved  expression  of 
my  faithful   Eskimo  hunters  at  this  change.       They 

House-Building  and  Hunting  59 

had   been   very  sea-sick,  as   well  as  considerably  dis- 
turbed mentally  during  the  night. 

Passing  the  eastern  end  of  Herbert  Island,  two 
hours'  steaming  brought  us  to  the  mouth  of  Olriks 
Bay,  which  I  had  crossed  on  the  sledge  with  Mrs. 
Peary  a  year  ago  last  April.  We  steamed  slowly  up 
the  centre  of  the  bay,  twelve  or  fourteen  miles,  and 
came  to  the  reindeer  haunts,  of  which  my  Eskimo 
friends  had  told  me  so  many  times  at  Red  Cliff. 


A  long  and  wide  stretch  of  gently  rolling  hills  on 
the  north  side  of  the  bay,  facing  south,  gave  every  ap- 
pearance of  being  a  deer  country,  but  at  first  neither 
the  Captain  nor  myself  with  our  glasses  could  make 
out  any  of  the  animals,  though  both  Myah  and  Kes- 
suh  persisted  in  saying  that  there  were  amisiiah 
(plenty)  there.  At  last,  however,  two  or  three  were 
discovered,  then  two  or  three  more,  and,  as  we  slowly 
worked  up  the  bay,  a  group  of  a  dozen  here,  and  fif- 
teen or  twenty  there,  until  the  Captain,  in  his  excite- 


Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  " 

ment,  said  he  could  not  see  the  ground  on  account  of 
the  deer. 

One  party  was  dropped  ashore  in  the  Maiy  Pea7y, 
abreast  of  a  group  of  six  or  seven.  A  Httle  farther 
along,  another  was  sent  ashore  not  far  from  another 
group  of  the  browsing  animals.  Still  farther  up  the 
bay,  I  landed  with  faithful  Myah,  while  the  Captain  and 
one  or  two  of  the  men  went  a  mile  or  two  farther  in  the 


boat.  Only  a  short  time  elapsed  before  the  cracking 
of  the  rifles  was  heard,  and  the  result  of  the  night's 
hunt  (the  various  parties  getting  back  to  the  ship  all 
the  way  from  two  to  seven  o'clock  in  the  morning) 
was  seventeen  deer. 

At  ten  o'clock  we  weighed  anchor,  and  at  one  o'clock 
were  rounding  the  cape  at  the  entrance  of  Olriks 
Bay  on  our  way  back  to  Falcon  Harbour. 


House-Building  and  Hunting  6i 

This  Olriks  Bay,  which  is  very  inaccurately  shown 
upon  the  charts,  is  different  in  its  characteristics  from 
any  of  the  fjords  which  I  have  seen  in  this  region.  In 
its  outer  portion  for  a  distance  of  some  ten  or  twelve 
miles,  its  characteristics  are  very  similar  to  those  of 
other  indentations  of  the  Whale-Sound  region,  as,  for 
instance,  Bowdoin,  McCormick,  Robertson,  and  Acad- 
emy Bays.  Then  it  makes  for  a  short  distance  rather 
a  sharp  turn  to  the  left,  then  turns  again  back  to  its 
previous  direction,  and  then  for  an  unknown  distance, 
though  not  less  than  fifteen  miles,  it  stretches  east- 
ward into  the  land,  a  shallow,  placid  river  of  almost 
constant  width,  with  rollino-  shores  alone  its  ereater 
extent,  giving  place  finally  to  black,  vertical  cliffs  near 
its  head.  The  extreme  head  of  the  fjord  must  be  very 
near  to  the  head  of  Academy  Bay. 

Four  hours  from  the  mouth  of  Olriks  Bay,  and 
the  Falcon  was  back  to  her  moorings  in  Falcon  Har- 
bour, with  her  four  days'  voyage  completed.  In  these 
four  days  she  had  visited  all  the  principal  points  of  in- 
terest in  this  region,  and  obtained  an  ample  supply  of 
meat  for  the  dogs  and  the  natives  of  my  settlement, 
and  a  good  beginning  on  the  meat  supply  for  my  own 
party.  During  these  four  days  of  navigation,  we  had 
seen  not  a  single  pan  or  floe  of  ice  south  of  Littleton 
Island,  nor  a  yard  of  ice-foot  along  the  shore,  nor  a 
particle  of  ice  at  the  head  of  any  of  the  bays.  This 
was  a  most  unusual  condition  of  things  in  these 



Departure  of  the  Falcon — Commknckment  of  Ick-Cap  Work — An  Ar- 
rival AT  THE  Lodge— Stormy  Weathkr — Deer  Hunting — Completion 
OF  Lodge — Glacier  Convulsion — Irreparable  Damage — End  of  Fall 
Ice-Cap  Work — Winter  Sledge  Trips — Work  on  Equipment— Return 
of  the  Sun — Resumption  of  Ice-Cap  Work — Lee  Lost  on  the  Ice-Cap — 
Transporting  Dog  Food. 



HE  20th  of  Aug- 
ust, 1893,  when 
the  Falcon  left  the 
Httle  harbour  named  after 
her,  was  a  perfect  arctic 
day,  warm,  clear,  and  bril- 
liant. Three  members  of 
my  party  were  on  board 
her  on  their  way  to  Igloo- 
diowni,  off  which  Eskimo 
settlement  they  were  to  be 
dropped  in  the  whale-boat, 
and  whence  they  were  to  bring  back  as  many  natives 
as  possible  to  pack  the  Inland-Ice  supplies  at  the  house, 
which  we  had  decided  to  call  "  Anniversary  Lodge," 
to  the  edge  of  the  ice-cap  some  four  miles  away. 

The  rest  of  us  stood  about  the  rocks  watching  the 
good  ship  get  under  way,  then  gave  her  three  cheers 
as  she  steamed  southward,  following  her  with  our 
eyes  till  she  disappeared  round  the  point  of  Bowdoin 
Bay.  Then  every  one  of  us,  tired  and  sleepy  from 
the  almost  constant  wakefulness  and  letter-writino-  of 
the  last  thirty-six  to  forty-eight  hours,  fell  asleep  on 
the  rocks  in  the  warm  sunshine.^ 

'  The  party  left  thus  by  the  Falcon  numbered  fourteen  persons,  as  follows  : 
Samuel  J.  Enlrikin,  my  first  assistant  ;  Eivind  Astrlip,  second  assistant  ;  Ed- 
ward E.  Vincent,   surgeon  ;   E.  B.  Baldwin,   meteorologist  ;   George   H.  Clark, 

VOL.  II.— 5  65 

66  Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

The  Igloodiowni  party  returned  in  two  days  with 
seventeen  natives,  and  during  the  rest  of  August  the 
greater  portion  of  these  natives  were  engaged  in  pack- 
ing the  suppHes  to  the  ice-cap,  while  others  were  cut- 
ting up  and  caching  the  wahus  we  had  secured  for 
dog  food.  The  main  strength  of  the  party  was  en- 
gaged in  completing  the  house. 

On  August  29th  Astriip  received  his  orders  placing 
him  in  command  of  the  Inland-Ice  party,  and  left  the 
same  day  for  the  ice-cap  with   Carr,  Davidson,   and 


Lee,  five  sledges,  and  fifty  dogs,  to  establish  a  depot 
of  supplies  as  far  in  on  the  Inland  Ice  as  possible  in 
the  direction  of  Independence  Bay.  This  was  the 
work  for  which  his  experience  with  me  in  the  previous 
expedition  especially  fitted  him,  and  I  felt  that  I  could 
leave  the  details  to  his  judgment.  The  condition  of 
the  surface  of  the  ice-cap,  with  the  fine  weather  which 
we    had    been    experiencing,    and    which,    it    seemed 

taxidermist ;  Hugh  J.  Lee,  George  H.  Carr,  James  Davidson,  Walter  F. 
Swain,  Mrs.  Peary,  Mrs.  Susan  J.  Cross  ;  my  coloured  man,  Matthew  Henson, 
and  myself,  with  Mr.  F.  A.  Stokes,  artist,  an  independent  member  of  the  Ex- 

Autumn  and  Winter  Work 


likely,  woukl  continue,  gave  me  reason  for  the  most 
sanguine  expectations  for  the  result  of  the  fall  cam- 
paign, and  I  hoped  that  its  end  would  see  the  supplies 
at  least  a  hundred  miles  in  on  the  ice,  and  possibly 
even  abreast  of  Petermann  Fjord. 

The  following  day  my  native  labourers  were  paid, 
and  the  same  day  Entrikin,  with  the  launch  General 
Wistar  and  two  whale-boats,  accompanied  by  three  of 
the  party,  left  the  lodge  to   take  them  home,  and  on 


the  way  to  endeavour  to  obtain  more  walrus  off  Her- 
bert Island.  Though  hampered  by  a  succession  of 
accidents  to  the  launch,  Entrikin  carried  out  his  in- 
structions in  a  satisfactory  manner,  returning  the  na- 
tives to  their  homes  and  killing  three  walrus. 

Immediately  after  his  return  from  this  trip,  he 
started  again  in  the  whale-boat  Faith,  with  a  party 
for  Olriks  Bay  after  deer. 

The  Inland-Ice  work  progressed  slowly.  I  kept 
posted  as  regards  the  movements  of  the  party,  at  first 


Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice 

by  means  of  my  powerful  binoculars,  and  then  by 
trips  of  various  members  of  the  party,  and  on  the 
night  of  September  7th,  in  response  to  a  call  from 
Astrup  for  more  dogs,  the  letter  being  brought  by 
one  of  the  carrier-pigeons,  I  visited  him  myself  at 
his  camp  six  miles  in  on  the  cap,  and  found  him 
suffering  from  something  in  the  nature  of  a  chill,  and 
the  Doctor  was  immediately  sent  up  to  attend  to  him. 



He  returned  a  day  or  two  later  and  reported  Astrup 
much  better  and  able  to  continue  the  work. 

On  September  12th,  an  interesting  event  occurred  at 
Anniversary  Lodge  in  the  arrival  of  a  little  nine- 
pound  stranger,  Marie  Ahnighito  Peary.  Both  mother 
and  little  one,  as  the  result  of  the  Doctor's  care 
and  Mrs.  Cross's  skilled  nursing,  passed  through  the 
ordeal  in  safety. 

This  little  blue-eyed  snowflake,  born  at  the  close  of 
the  arctic  summer  day,  deep  in  the  heart  of  the  White 
North,  far  beyond  the  farthest  limits  of  civilised  people 

Autumn  and  Winter  Work 


or  habitations,  saw  the  cold,  grey  hght  of  the  arctic 
autumn  once  only  before  the  great  night  settled  upon 
us.  Then  she  was  bundled  deep  in  soft,  warm  arctic 
furs,  and  wrapped  in  the  Stars  and  Stripes. 


The  first  six  months  of  her  life  were  spent  in  con- 
tinuous lamplight.  When  the  earliest  ray  of  the  re- 
turning sun  pierced  through  the  window  of  our  tiny 
room,  she  reached  for  the  grolden  bar  as  other  children 
reach  for  a  beautiful  toy.      Later,  when  the  great  night 


Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice 

of  the  arctic  winter  had  given  way  to  the  great  day 
of  the  arctic  summer,  and  she  hved  constantly  in  the 
uninterrupted  hght  and  brilliant  arctic  sunshine,  the 
effect  upon  her  was  the  same  as  upon  the  hyacinth 
and  tulip  bulbs  which,  kept  for  weeks  in  a  dark  cellar 
and  then  placed  in  a  window,  expand  and  blossom 
with  astonishing  rapidity.  When,  at  the  age  of  eleven 
months,  little  Ahnighito  left  her  native  land,  she  was 
physically  and  mentally  at  least  a  year  in  advance  of 


her  actual  age.  Throughout  the  winter  she  was  the 
source  of  the  liveliest  interest  to  the  natives.  Entire 
families  journeyed  from  far-away  Cape  York  to  the 
south,  and  from  distant  Etah  to  the  north,  to  satisfy 
themselves  by  actual  touch  that  she  was  really  a  crea- 
ture of  warm  flesh  and  blood,  and  not  of  snow,  as  they 
at  first  believed. 

My  next  news  from  the  party  on  the  ice-cap  was  on 
September  1 3th,  when  Astriip  was  brought  down  suffer- 
ing from  stomach   trouble  and   threatened  with  what 

Autumn  and  Winter  Work  71 

was  diagnosed  as  gastric  fever.  His  tent  and  most  of 
the  supplies  were  then  twelve  miles  in  from  the  edge 
of  the  ice,  with  two  sledge  loads  three  miles  farther 
in  ;  but  the  precise  location  of  the  latter  was  not 
known,  storms  having  covered  them  after  they  were 

I  decided  immediately  to  let  his  party  continue  the 
work  until  he  was  in  a  condition  to  return,  and,  in  case 
he  should  not  be  able  to  return  to  the  cap  at  the  end 
of  the  week,  to  take  charge  of  the  work  myself.      Carr 


and  Davidson,  therefore,  started  back  to  rejoin  Lee, 
who  had  remained  at  the  tent  on  the  ice-cap.  They, 
however,  encountered  a  storm,  in  which  they  lost 
their  way,  and  after  wandering  about  all  night,  being 
obliged  to  cache  their  loads,  finally  made  their  way 
down  to  the  land  and  regained  the  lodge.  Making  a 
second  attempt,  a  day  or  two  later,  they  succeeded  in 
reaching  the  tent,  where  Lee  had  been  entirely  alone 
for  a  week,  just  as  another  storm  broke  upon  them 
and  made  all  three  of  them  prisoners  in  the  tent  for 
another  week,  when  they  were  able  to  get  out  and  re- 

72  Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

turn  to  the  lodge,  which  they  reached  on  September 

Two  days  later  I  went  back  with  the  boys  to  take 
charge  of  the  Inland-Ice  work  myself,  and  on  arriving 
at  the  moraine,  at  the  edge  of  the  Inland  Ice,  found 
that  all  three  of  the  sledges  which  they  had  brought 
out  and  left  at  the  moraine  had  been  blown  away 
without  leaving-  a  vestip-e.  This  necessitated  our  re- 
turn  to  the  lodge  to  put  together  new  sledges.  While 
these  mishaps  were  occurring  in  connection  with  the 
ice-cap  work,  Entrikin  was  hunting  deer  for  our  meat 
supply  for  the  winter,  and  in  bad  weather  attending 
to  the  interior  fittincrs  of  the  lod^e.  Durine  the  deer 
hunt  in  Olriks  Bay,  from  which  he  returned  on  the 
1 6th,  he  obtained  thirty-three  deer.  On  the  26th  he 
started  again  in  the  Mary  Peary  for  a  deer  hunt  in 
the  neighbourhood  of  Hubbard  Glacier. 

On  September  30th  I  succeeded  in  reaching  the 
cam.p  on  the  ice-cap,  accompanied  by  Davidson  and 
Lee.  The  following  day,  after  a  few  hours'  search,  we 
discovered  the  lost  sleds:es  and  loads  which  had  been 
advanced  by  Astriip  beyond  his  tent. 

This  work  successfully  accomplished,  we  returned 
to  the  tent  and  thence  to  the  lodge  to  get  additional 
dogs.  Returning  to  the  ice-cap  the  following  day  we 
had,  at  the  end  of  four  days'  work,  advanced  all  the 
supplies  twenty-six  and  one-half  miles  from  the  moraine. 
I  was  satisfied  with  the  result  of  our  work,  for  the 
three  of  us  had  in  four  days,  with  twenty  dogs  and  in 
continuous  stormy  weather,  moved  the  supplies  a  dis- 
tance of  fourteen  miles.  I  intended  on  the  followingr 
day  to  return  to  the  lodge  for  two  more  men  and  ad- 
ditional dogs,  and,  with  this  addition  to  our  force, 
move  everything  in  to  a  point  fifty  miles  from  the 
moraine.  If  I  could  accomplish  this  I  would  feel  satis- 
fied with  the  fall  work.      The  next  morning,  however. 

Autumn  and  Winter  Work 


brought  a  howling  gale  from  the  south-east,  the  snow 
flying  in  such  a  way  as  to  make  it  impossible  to  keep 
a  course.  This  confined  us  to  camp  for  two  days.  On 
the  third  day,  though  the  weather  was  still  very  thick, 
we  started  for  the  moraine,  I  in  advance  on  snow-shoes, 
and  the  boys  following  with  their  teams  and  light 
sledges.  The  recent  fall  of  snow  had  made  the  trav- 
elling so  heavy  that  I  out-distanced  the  dogs,  and  on 

.«<»  v** 


reaching  the  moraine  the  boys  were  not  in  sight.  I 
thought  they  would  have  no  difficulty  in  following  me, 
and  kept  directly  on  to  the  lodge. 

Here  I  found  Entrikin  just  returned  from  the  hunt- 
ing trip  to  Hubbard  Glacier  with  twenty-seven  deer 
and  skins. 

My  two  boys  did  not  come  in  until  nine  o'clock  the 
next  morning,  when  they  arrived  at  the  lodge  looking 

74         Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

like  drowned  rats.  They  had  been  caught  just  as 
they  reached  the  moraine  by  a  renewed  outburst  of 
the  storm,  and,  unable  to  find  the  snow  igloo  or  fix 
up  any  kind  of  a  shelter,  had  crawled  into  their  sleep- 
ing-bags, which  soon  drifted  full  of  snow,  and  this 
melting  from  the  warmth  of  their  bodies,  had  soaked 
them  thoroughly. 

The  storm  of  which  this  was  the  beginning  lasted 
continuously  for  an  entire  week,  when  almost  every 


available  man  in  the  party  went  to  the  moraine  camp 
with  the  dogs,  sledges,  burros,  and  all  additional 
equipment  needed  for  an  increased  ice-cap  party. 
Three  or  four  Eskimos  accompanied  us  to  build 
a  new  snow  igloo  at  the  moraine,  to  serve  as  a 
shelter  during  the  remainder  of  the  fall  campaign. 
The  demon  of  the  storm  was,  however,  still  on  duty 
at  the  moraine,  and  the  furious  driving  drift  across 
its  top  made  it  impossible  to  complete  the  igloo. 
The    old    one    was    unsafe,    so,    after   making   every- 

Autumn  and  Winter  Work 


thing  secure  for  the  night,  everyone  returned  to  the 

Two  days  later  we  were  able  to  get  back  to  the 
moraine,  and  it  took  six  of  us  the  entire  day  to  free 
the  igloo  and  sledges  from  the  deep  deposit  of  snow 
of  the  last  forty- 
eight  hours. 
From  this  time, 
October  i8th, 
until  November 
9th,  there  was  a 
constant  succes- 
s  i  o  n  of  s  n  o  w- 
storms  and  hiofh 
winds,  and,  al- 
though someone 
was  constantly  on 
"  picket  duty  "  at 
the  moraine  ie- 
loo,  there  was 
throughout  all 
these  days  never 
a  time  when  it 
was  practicable  to 
start  upon  the  In- 
land Ice,  wind, 
snow,  and  dark- 
ness relieving 
each  other  in  de- 
fending  that 

On  the  night  of  October  31st,  while  I  was  at  the 
moraine,  waiting  an  opportunity  to  get  on  the  ice- 
cap, a  big  wave,  caused  by  the  breaking  of  a  huge  ice- 
berg from  the  Bowdoin  Glacier,  rushed  into  Falcon 
Harbour,  burst  up  through  the  solid  ice  near  the  shore 



Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  " 

in  a  roarino-  cataract  of  water  and  foam  ;  rolled  the 
steam  launch,  which  had  been  hauled  up  for  the  winter 
at  the  head  of  the  harbour,  over  and  over  and  stove 
her  in  ;  dashed  the  whale-boat  Faith,  which  had  been 
hauled  up  at  the  mouth  of  the  brook,  a  hundred  yards 
up  the  valley  and  ruined  her  ;  then  receding,  carried 
down  with  it  into  a  vortex  of  o-nndino-  ice-cakes  all 
my  oil  barrels,  the  dory,  several  bales  of  hay  from 
the  burro  stable,  and  a  number  of  puppies.      No  trace 


of  the  dory  was  seen  afterwards,  but  all  the  oil  barrels 
were  accounted  for,  though  three  or  four  were  smashed 
completely,  and  the  contents  entirely  lost,  and  nearly 
all  were  injured  and  more  or  less  of  the  oil  lost.  This 
loss  of  oil  and  some  of  the  launch  fittings  put  the  in- 
stallation of  our  electric-light  plant  entirely  out  of  the 

On  November  9th,  I  went  to  the  moraine  with  the 
idea  of  going  in  to  the  cache  and  fixing  it  up  for  the 
winter,  it  being  too  late  in  the  season  now  to  advance 

Autumn  and  Winter  Work 


the  supplies  any  farther.  The  following  day  we 
started  in  on  the  ice-cap,  travelling  till  long  after 
dark.  Before  we  had  our  tent  fairly  pitched,  another 
storm  began  and  kept  us  in  the  tent  for  about  forty 
hours,  we  expecting  every  moment  to  have  the  tent 
torn  from  over  us.  Then  a  lull  in  the  storm,  although 
the  barometer  was  still  going  down,  enabled  us  to 
strike  the  tent  and  start  back  for  the  moraine,  which 
we  fortunately  reached,   and   thence  made    our    way 


down  through  the  valley  to  the  lodge.  This  ended 
the  fall  work  on  the  ice-cap.  The  sun  had  been  absent 
now  for  sixteen  days.  Soon  after  our  return,  the 
first  sledges  and  natives  arrived  to  visit  us.  The  re- 
mainder of  the  month  was  almost  continuously  stormy 
and  cloudy,  and  the  month  closed  with  our  Thanks- 
giving celebration,  the  thermometer  outside  standing 
at  -  20°  F. 

The  comparatively  calm  and  clear  weather  of  De- 
cember was  a  very  agreeable  change  from  the  con- 

j^        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

tinuous  atmospheric  disturbance  of  October  and 
November.  Work  was  commenced  and  steadily  con- 
tinued on  the  Inland-Ice  equipment.  Visits  from  the 
natives  were  numerous  and  of  long  duration,  and 
these,  with  the  care  of  our  dogs,  caused  the  first  half 
of  the  month  to  pass  rapidly.  With  the  arrival  of 
the  December  moon,  we  began  sledge  trips  to  the 
various  native  settlements  for  dog  food.  Everyone 
having  returned  from  these  trips,  I  gave  the  party  a 


two  days'  rest  previous  to  Christmas  and  the  athletic 
sports  booked  for  that  day. 

The  day  after  Christmas,  I  started  for  the  settle- 
ments of  Ooloosheen  and  Keate,  on  Herbert  and 
Northumberland  Islands,  by  way  of  Karnah.  The 
object  of  the  trip  was  to  obtain  a  supply  of  dog  food, 
and  my  programme  contemplated  sending  home  a 
load  of  meat  which  had  been  promised  to  me  at  Kar- 
nah, an  examination  of  a  cache  of  walrus  meat  made 
in  the  autumn  on  the  eastern  end  of  Herbert  Island, 

Autumn  and  Winter  Work  79 

and  the  purchase  of  as  much  meat  as  I  could  bring 
back  from  Ooloosheen  and  Keate.  This  trip  lasted 
five  days,  and  resulted  in  bringing-  back  to  the  lodge 
some  sixteen  hundred  pounds  of  dog  food. 

Immediately  after  New  Year's  other  sledge  trips 
were  made.  All  the  parties  were  back  at  the  lodge 
on  January  7th,  and  this  ended  the  sledging  trips  of 
this  moon.  They  were  not  to  be  resumed  until  the 
appearance  of  the  next  one. 

In  these  various  sledge  journeys  some  seven  hun- 
dred miles  were  travelled,  between  twenty-five  hundred 
and  three  thousand  pounds  of  dog  meat  were  brought 
to  the  lodge,  and  both  men  and  dogs  gained  beneficial 
exercise  and  experience  in  the  field.  During  all  these 
journeys  in  the  midnight  hours  of  the  arctic  winter 
night  no  mishap  occurred,  and  the  members  of  the 
party,  owing  to  the  perfection  of  their  fur  clothing,  ex- 
perienced no  discomforts  whatever. 

The  sunless  and  moonless  interval  from  now  until 
January  21st  was  taken  up  with  pushing  the  work  on 
the  clothing  and  sledges  for  the  Inland-Ice  trip.  Dur- 
ing the  week  commencing  on  that  date,  three  parties 
were  put  into  the  field  after  deer.  Thirty  were  ob- 
tained. The  next  week  was  also  largely  spent  in  the 

The  results  of  the  week's  work  were  to  add  twenty- 
one  more  deer  to  our  larder.  With  the  increased 
daylight  of  early  February  the  natives  began  killing 
walrus  off  Peterahwik,  and,  with  over  thirty  saddles 
of  venison  safely  stored  away,  I  turned  my  attention 
from  the  deer  pastures  of  Kangerdlooksoah  in  Academy 
Bay  to  the  walrus-haunted  ice-floes  of  Peterahwik,  and 
from  early  February  until  the  party  went  on  to  the  ice- 
cap this  place  furnished  most  of  my  dog  food.  Seven 
trips  were  made  by  members  of  the  party  to  this  set- 
tlement and  the  neiorhbourinof  one  of  Nerke. 


Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice 

On  the  15th  of  the  month,  by  chmbing  the  slopes  of 
Mount  Bartlett,  Mrs.  Peary  and  myself  got  our  first 
glimpse  of  the  sun,  which  we  had  last  seen  one  hundred 
and  fourteen  days  before.  On  February  i8th,  the  sun 
shone  again  upon  the  lodge.  On  the  same  day,  Lee, 
with  two  Eskimos  and  a  team  of  dogs,  started  for  the 
cache  on  the  Inland  Ice,  and  with  the  return  of  the 


god  of  day,  work  on  the  equipment  was  pushed  with 
redoubled  energy. 

According  to  my  original  programme,  I  had  ex- 
pected to  start  from  the  cache  established  in  the  pre- 
vious fall,  twenty-six  and  one-half  miles  from  the 
moraine,  on  March  ist ;  and  in  furtherance  of  this 
programme,  Lee  was  going  in  to  free  the  cache  from 
the  winter's  snows,  bag  the  pemmican,  and  construct 
snow  igloos  in  readiness  for  the  party  when  it  arrived. 

Autumn  and  Winter  Work  8i 

Unfortunately,  while  hunting  for  the  cache,  Lee 
lost  his  way  during  a  storm,  and  after  wandering 
about  on  the  ice-cap  for  a  night  and  a  day,  descended 
into  Inglefield  Gulf,  and  finally,  after  forty-four  hours 


without  food  or  sleep,  reached  the  lodge  by  way  of 
the  Castle  Cliffs  in  an  exhausted  condition  and  with 
a  frozen  toe. 

This  mishap  disarranged   my  schedule  somewhat, 
and  the  delay  incident  to  it  necessitated  a  second  trip 

82         Northward  over  the  ''Great  Ice" 

to  Nerke  and  Peterahwik  for  an  additional  supply  of 

The  magnitude  of  this  work  of  transporting  dog 
food  will  be  appreciated  when  it  is  known  that  I  had 
now  a  ravenous  pack  of  eighty  to  ninety  Eskimo  dogs, 
all  the  food  for  which  had  to  be  hauled  from  either 
Nerke  or  Peterahwik,  distances  of  fifty  and  sixty  miles 
respectively.  This  pack  had  to  be  fed  at  least  as 
often  as  once  every  other  day,  and  it  required  for  a 
sino-le  feed  the  maximum  sledee  load  of  meat  that 
could  be  hauled  from  either  of  the  above-mentioned 
places  by  the  route  through  Tooktoo  Valley  and  over 
the  Kahkoktah  Glacier.  The  weather  all  this  time 
was  cloudy  and  threatening. 


ON    THE    "great    ICE." 
The  Start — Good-bye — The  Ick-Cap    Caravan — The  Cache    Igloos — 

NOCTIAL" Camp — Havoc  of  the  Furious  Storm— More  of  the  Party 
Sent  Back. 


ON      THE 



T  was  on  March  6, 
1894,  that  the  start 
was  made  for  the  long 
Inland-Ice  trip.  In  the 
morning,  eight  members 
of  my  party  with  five  Eski- 
mos, some  eighty  dogs, 
and  the  last  articles  of 
equipment,  left  Anniver- 
sary Lodge  in  the  morn- 
ing for  Moraine  Camp. 
The  weather  all  through 
the  first  days  of  March  was  cloudy  and  threatening. 
The  day  on  which  the  start  was  made,  however,  was 
bright  and  clear.  The  party  was  to  push  in  on  the 
Inland  Ice  from  Moraine  Camp  as  far  as  practicable, 
and  I  was  to  join  them  early  the  next  morning  and 
brine  them  hot  tea  in  order  to  save  their  alcohol. 

Two  of  the  Eskimos  were  to  return  to  me  as  soon 
as  the  party  camped,  and  report  their  location.  When 
these  couriers  came  back  to  the  lodo-e  late  in  the  even- 
ing,  I  saw  that  I  could  easily  go  up  to  the  party  in 
the  morning  and  return  to  the  lodge,  overtaking  them 
the  next  day.  With  the  earliest  dawn  of  light  I  was 
off  with    two    Eskimos,  carrying   several    gallons    of 



Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice 

boiling-hot  tea  in  canteens,  and  a  big  tin  chart  case, 
all  closely  wrapped  in  the  winter  coat  of  the  reindeer, 
to  keep  the  tea  from  freezing  in  transit. 

I  was  encouraged  on  reaching;-  the  moraine  to  see 
no  derelict  dogs  there,  and  though  the  encampment  of 
the  party  was  less  than  two  miles  beyond  the  moraine, 
I  considered  it  a  grood  omen  that  this  Rubicon  had 
finally  been  passed  ;  that  this  Titan  breastwork  along 
which,  throughout  the  previous  fall,  we  had  so  per- 



-  -•»• 





jrii^  «^ 


sistently  battled  the  triple  demons  of  the  ice-cap,  cold, 
storm,  and  darkness,  had  at  length  been  carried.  As 
I  approached  the  camp,  which,  with  the  sleeping-bags, 
sledges,  and  dogs,  tethered  in  teams  of  five  or  six, 
occupied  a  very  considerable  area,  I  saw  everything 
indistinctly  through  the  white  veil  of  the  fine  snow-drift 
which  the  biting  wind  from  the  interior  was  sweeping 
alono-  to  a  heio^ht  of  three  or  four  feet  over  the  frozen 
surface.  Entrikin,  Astrup,  and  Baldwin,  who  met  me 
just  on  the  outskirts  of  the  camp,  although  closely 
enveloped  in  their  heavy  furs,  had  apparently  felt  the 
effects  of  the  all-penetrating  ice-cap  wind  on  this  their 

On  the  "Great  Ice 


first  night  on  the  cap,  as  was  shown  by  the  shghtly 
pinched  and  cerulean  tinge  of  what  could  be  seen  of 
their  faces.  This  effect  disappeared  very  quickly  after 
a  pull  at  the  hot  tea. 

The  boys  had  had  a  great  deal  of  trouble  with  the 
numerous  loose  dogs,  inevitable  in  such  a  pack,  and 
had  obtained  but  very  little  sleep. 

I  remained  with  the  party  until  breakfast  was  fin- 
ished, the  dogs  hitched  in,  and  the  line  of  march  taken 


up,  and  then,  with  Ingeropadu  only,  I  turned  back  to 
the  lodge.  After  going  a  short  distance,  I  stopped  to 
have  another  look  at  the  caravan,  and  the  memory  of 
the  scene,  with  the  memory  of  a  subsequent  one,  when 
farther  on,  will  remain  long  with  me.  It  was  a  sublime 
spectacle  to  see  that  company  of  thirteen  men,  a  dozen 
sledges,  and  over  ninety  dogs,  climbing  the  alabaster 

88         Northward  over  the  ''Great  Ice" 

slopes  of  the  infinite  ice-cap,  their  destination  the  fro- 
zen fastnesses  of  the  north.  Never  before  had  such  a 
sight  been  seen  on  the  great,  desolate  ice  ;  never,  I 
thought  to  myself,  would  the  scene  be  repeated. 

On  the  morning  of  the  8th,  I  took  my  final  depart- 
ure from  the  lodge.  I  quote  from  my  journal  as 
follows  : 

"  I  was  awakened  at  seven  o'clock  this  morning, 
and  after  a  light  breakfast  started,  Mrs.  Peary  accom- 
panying me,  for,  I  hope,  my  last  upward  trip  to  the 
moraine  camp.  Matt  had  turned  out  an  hour  earlier, 
and  had  captured  and  harnessed  seven  dogs  belong- 
ing to  some  of  our  Eskimo  visitors.  Koolootin^wah 
and  faithful  old  Ingeropadu,  with  Eskimo  sledge  and 
these  dogs,  had  gone  on  ahead.  I  said  '  Good-bye  '  to 
everyone  at  the  lodge,  including  the  little  blue-eyed 
mite  of  a  girl  that  looked  up  wonderingly  at  me  from 
her  bed.  Of  the  natives,  Etoo  plainly  answered  back 
'Good-bye'  in  English.  Up  past  Kessuh's  and  Pan- 
ikpah's  igloos  we  walked,  across  Baby  Lake,  and  up 
the  valley  to  Glacier  View,  then  to  the  Rock  Turn, 
where  I  said  '  Good-bye '  to  Mrs.  Peary,  as  two  years 
ago  I  had  said  '  Good-bye '  to  her  in  McCormick  Bay, 
a  few  miles  distant. 

"  Past  the  upper  and  lower  mule  caches,  and  so  on 
over  every  foot  of  the  well-known  trail  to  the  moraine. 

"  Here  Ingeropadu  turned  back,  leaving  Kooloo- 
tingwah  to  go  on  with  me  to  the  party.  We  left  the 
bamboo  pole,  the  first  milestone  (figuratively  speak- 
ing) on  the  route,  at  noon.  The  day  was  clear  and 
calm,  the  snow  presented  a  firm  surface,  and  although 
the  temperature  was  in  the  neighbourhood  of  30°  be- 
low zero,  the  direct  heat  of  the  sun  was  so  pronounced 
that  while  climbing  the  slope  to  Pigeon  Camp  I  was 
obliged  to  take  off  my  deerskin  shirt  in  order  to  avoid 
getting  into  a  perspiration. 

On  the  "Great  Ice" 


"  Some  two  miles  beyond  Pigeon  Camp  we  passed 
the  snow  igloo  and  camp  site  occupied  by  the  party 
the  previous  night,  and  at  4:30  p.m.,  a  few  miles  be- 
yond Plateau  Camp,  I  saw  the  party  in  the  distance 
ahead  of  us,  a  series  of  black  dots  crawling  up  the 
slope  of  one  of  the  snow  hummocks.  At  six  p.m.,  we 
reached  the  boys  just  as  they  camped  at  the  snow  igloo 
which  Lee's  Eskimo  companions  had  constructed  and 
occupied  in  February  the  night  before  he  was  lost.    The 


western  sky  was  a  blaze  of  crimson  and  gold,  the  east- 
ern dark  with  the  purple  shades  of  night.  The  camp 
itself,  with  the  numerous  dogs  tied  in  groups  of  five 
and  six,  the  harnesses  and  other  items  of  sledge  equip- 
ment supported  upon  tripods  formed  with  the  ski,  the 
sledges  scattered  here  and  there,  the  snow  igloo,  the 
little  silk  tent,  the  sleeping-bags  with  their  tent-like 
protections,  and  the  many  figures  moving  about  hither 
and  thither,  all  projected  against  the  background  of 
the  glowing  west,  combined  to  form  a  scene  which  re= 

go         Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

minded  me  very  strongly  of  an  Indian  encampment  on 
the  prairie  at  sunset." 

By  the  time  I  had  made  a  tour  of  inspection  of  the 
camp,  Astriip,  who  was  utihsing  the  snow  igloo  as  a 
cook-house,  had  made  the  pea  soup  and  tea,  and,  after 
disposing  of  a  cupful  of  each  with  my  ration  of  pem- 
mican  and  biscuit,  I  pulled  on  my  deerskin  kooletah 
and  combination  deerskin  boots  and  trousers,  and  lay 
down  on  the  snow  in  the  lee  of  one  of  the  sledges. 
Here  I  was  perfectly  warm,  though  the  temperature 
during  the  night  was  30°  below  zero  ;  but  finding  it 
impossible  to  protect  myself  from  the  annoyance  of 
the  drift,  which  eddied  about  the  sledge  and  blew  in 
my  face  in  spite  of  every  effort,  I  changed  my  position 
towards  midnight  for  a  semi-recumbent  one  on  top  of  a 
sledge.  Our  Eskimo  companions  and  one  or  two  of  the 
party  slept  in  the  igloo,  the  others  in  the  little  tent  and 
the  sleeping-bags.  As  I  changed  my  position,  the  bril- 
liant, scintillating  stars  overhead,  and  the  sinuous,  white 
drift  banners  of  the  "  Great  Ice,"  wakened  to  life  by  the 
sibilant  breath  of  the  north-east  wind,  rustling  in  and 
out  through  the  sleeping  encampment,  formed  a  scene 
strikingly  characteristic  of  this  great  white  desert. 

At  sunrise  I  awakened  Astriip  to  make  the  tea,  and 
at  ten  o'clock  I  left  camp,  with  Lee  and  Gotooniah 
and  their  teams,  to  push  forward  to  the  cache,  and 
construct  an  igloo  while  the  main  party  followed  later 
on.  On  the  way  to  the  cache  we  passed  near  the  tent 
from  which  Lee  had  started  out  and  got  lost.  Leav- 
inof  Lee  to  strike  the  tent  and  brinof  it  alone  on  his 
sledge,  I  kept  on  with  Gotooniah  to  the  cache. 
While  yet  two  miles  distant,  we  saw  the  cache  ahead 
of  us,  and  on  reaching  it  found  that  since  October  the 
snow  had  drifted  about  it  to  the  depth  of  some  four 
feet,  and  had  also  formed  a  drift  upon  its  top,  which 
was  visible  at  some  distance,  even  without  the  assist- 

On  the  "Great  Ice"  91 

ance  of  the  bamboo  pole  which  had  been  erected  be- 
side the  pile  of  supplies. 

Ootooniah  immediately  went  to  work  constructing 
an  igloo,  and  had  it  completed  just  as  the  whole  party 
arrived,  the  line  of  sledges  winding  along  over  the 
snow  like  a  huge  black  centipede. 

As  soon  as  their  dogs  were  tethered,  all  the  Eski- 
mos began  a  second  igloo,  adjoining  the  first,  and 
when  it  was  completed  the  two  were  united  by  an 


arched  opening.  The  tent  which  Lee  had  brought  up 
was  erected  in  a  line  with  the  igloos  on  one  side,  and 
the  little  kitchen-tent  on  the  other.  As  we  were  likely 
to  remain  here  at  least  two  days  digging  out  the  cache, 
assigning  the  sledge  loads,  bagging  the  pemmican, 
and  repairing  the  sledges,  most  of  which  had  suffered 
more  or  less  from  the  journey  to  the  moraine,  and 
thence  over  the  rough,  hard  sastriigi  up  to  Pigeon 
Camp,  I  had  a  snow  fireplace,  if  such  an  anomaly  can  be 
imagined,    built   in   each   igloo,    one   for  the   alcohol 

92         Northward  over  the  ''Great  Ice" 

cooker  and  the  other  for  wood,  of  which  we  had  quite 
a  supply  in  the  shape  of  broken  boxes. 

The  first  night  at  this  camp,  some  of  the  party  slept 
in  the  igloos,  others  outside  in  their  bags,  and  I  in  my 
sleeping-suit  in  the  lee  of  the  igloo.  There  was  a 
continuous  lio-ht  wind  and  drift  throuofhout  the  nig-ht. 

The  following  day  was  clear,  with  a  north  wind  and 
drift.  It  was  devoted  to  digging  out  the  cache  and 
thoroughly  overhauling  and  repairing  the  sledges. 
Tea  was  kept  on  tap  all  day  to  encourage  the  boys  in 
their  disagreeable  work. 

A  serious  incident  of  the  day  was  the  death  of  one 
of  my  dogs  from  the  real  piblockto,  or  dreaded  dog 
disease  of  this  region.  I  did  not  have  him  shot,  as  I 
wished  to  satisfy  myself  as  to  the  character  of  his 
malady.  Towards  the  last  he  nearly  gnawed  his  legs 

The  next  day,  March  i  ith,  was  calm  and  clear,  with 
no  drift.  Sledge  loads  were  assigned,  and  the  mem- 
bers of  the  party  occupied  themselves  in  sewing  their 
respective  shares  of  pemmican  into  bags  containing 
twelve  to  fifteen  eight-pound  cans  each,  and  arranging 
their  loads.  The  Eskimos  left  at  4:30  a.m.  to  return 
to  the  lodge. 

On  Monday,  March  12th,  we  finally  got  started 
away  from  the  cache  igloos,  after  losing  at  least  two- 
thirds  of  the  day  by  a  series  of  hitches  and  mishaps, 
which  seem  to  be  the  inevitable  accompaniment  of 
getting  a  large  pack  of  Eskimo  dogs  under  way  after 
a  day  or  two  in  camp. 

We  found  the  going  very  heavy,  the  ice-cap  ahead 
of  us  having  a  considerable  gradient.  The  surface  of 
the  snow  was  cloth-like  in  texture,  and  the  dogs  of 
the  various  teams  were  not  accustomed  to  one  an- 
other and  were  constantly  fighting.  Lee's  toe,  which 
he  had  nipped  again,  was  in  a  very  bad  shape   in  the 

On  the  "Great  Ice"  93 

morning-,  but  he  had  grit  and  insisted  upon  pushing  on. 
At  night  he  was  evidently  in  no  condition  to  proceed 
farther.  Astrup  also  came  to  me  some  time  after  we 
had  made  camp,  saying  that  he  was  not  able  to  go  on, 
as  he  felt  all  the  symptoms  of  an  attack  of  illness  such 
as  sent  him  back  from  the  ice-cap  in  September  last. 
The  loss  of  two  of  my  best  men  meant  not  only  a 
serious  impairment  of  the  strength  of  the  party,  but 
reduced  the  party  to  the  minimum  number  with  which 


my  original  programme  of  work  for  the  season  could 
be  carried  out.  As  those  who  remember  my  plan  as 
outlined  before  leaving  the  States  will  recall,  it  was 
my  intention,  after  reaching  the  north-east  coast,  to 
start  one  party  northward  from  Independence  Bay, 
while  another  party  simultaneously  went  south  and 
east  to  Cape  Bismarck,  and  thence  back  over  the  ice- 
cap to  Whale  Sound  ;  and  one  or  two  men  remained 
at  Independence  Bay  to  await  there  the  return  of  the 
northern  detachment,  recuperate  the  exhausted  dogs^ 

94         Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

survey  that  region,  and  obtain  a  supply  of  musk-ox 

Eight  in  the  entire  party  would  give  three,  the  most 
desirable  number,  in  each  of  the  travelling  parties,  and 
two  for  the  Independence-Bay  party.  With  six  in 
the  main  expedition,  each  party  would  be  reduced  to 
the  minimum  number  of  two. 

This  serious  crippling  of  my  party  at  the  very  start 
caused  me  a  sleepless  night.      I  tried  to  hope  against 


hope  that  the  next  day  might  bring  some  improvement 
in  the  condition  of  Astriip  and  Lee.  The  extent  of 
my  hope  may,  however,  be  judged  from  the  fact  that 
I  cached  here  their  share  of  the  rations. 

On  the  13th,  what  with  the  up  grade,  the  strong 
wind,  the  drift  in  our  faces,  and  the  two  disabled  men, 
we  advanced  only  two  miles.  At  this  camp,  eight  of 
the  least  effective  dogs,  that  evidently  would  not  be 
able  to  stand  the  arduous  work  and  exposure,  were 
killed   and   utilised   as  food   for  the   others.      At  the 

On  the  "Great  Ice"  95 

conclusion  of  this  march,  it  was  certain  that  Lee  and 
Astriip  must  go  back.  At  first  I  had  intended  to  send 
them  back  by  themselves,  but  on  thinking  the  matter 
over  during  the  night,  I  felt  that  my  responsibility  re- 
quired that  someone  able  to  look  out  for  them  in  case 
of  mishap  should  accompany  them,  and  as  no  one 
could  make  the  trip  to  the  lodge  more  rapidly  than 
myself  and  one  companion,  I  decided  to  take  Clark 
with  me  and  see  them  safely  down. 

At  nine  a.m.  we  left  this  camp,  Astriip  ^  and  Lee  rid- 
ing upon  one  of  the  seven-foot  sledges  drawn  by  eight 
dogs,  with  Clark  driving,  and  myself  in  advance,  set- 
ting the  pace  and  encouraging  the  team.  The  day 
was  clear  and  the  travelling  fair,  what  wind  there  was 
being  at  our  backs,  and  we  made  good  progress  until 
we  began  to  climb  the  slope  to  Pigeon  Camp.  The 
sun  had  set  before  we  reached  Pigeon  Camp,  but  the 
long,  brilliant  arctic  twilight  lit  the  ice-cap  and  the 
valley  and  glaciers  below. 

By  this  time,  Lee,  in  spite  of  his  warm  clothing, 
had  become  chilled  from  the  long  ride,  and  this,  with 
the  pounding  and  jarring  of  the  sledge  over  the  sas- 
triigi^  caused  him  so  much  agony  from  his  now  greatly 
inflamed  and  swollen  toe,  that  he  thought  he  would 
attempt  walking.  He  actually  did  walk  from  here  to 
the  moraine,  a  distance  of  six  miles  and  a  half,  and 
then  to  the  lodge,  four  miles  farther,  though  every 
step,  as  I  could  see,  caused  the  poor  fellow  to  grit  his 

At  the  moraine,  we  left  the  sledge  and  fastened  the 

'  Astriip  was  an  entirely  different  man  on  this  Expedition  from  what  he  had 
been  on  the  previous  one.  He  seemed  to  have  lost  all  the  stamina  which  he 
possessed  in  'gi-'ga.  The  previous  September  he  had  come  down  from  the 
ice-cap  incapacitated  after  three  weeks'  work.  Now  he  was  disabled  at  the 
expiration  of  a  week,  and  though  during  my  absence  he  made  a  journey  to  Cape 
York,  still,  later  in  the  season  he  was  on  two  occasions  taken  ill  soon  after 
starting  on  trips  upon  which  I  had  sent  him,  and  obliged  to  return  to  the  lodge. 

96         Northward  over  the  **  Great  Ice" 

dogs  securely,  and,  while  Clark  remained  behind  to 
help  the  boys,  I  hurried  on  as  rapidly  as  possible  to 
have  something  hot  in  readiness  for  them.  I  reached 
the  lodge  at  eleven  p.m.,  healthily  tired  from  the  thirty- 
five-miie  tramp.  The  others  came  in  about  midnight. 
It  was  bright  moonlight  as  I  came  down  the  valley,  and 
Baby  Lake  was  a  glistening  sheet  of  white,  and  every 
stone  and  angle  of  the  ledges  were  easily  recognisable. 
When  leaving  the  ice-cap,  I   had  intended  to  start 


back  from  the  lodge  the  next  morning,  but  reaching 
it  as  late  as  we  did,  and  feeling  that  we  needed  a  good 
sleep,  I  postponed  our  departure  till  the  afternoon,  and 
made  use  of  the  opportunity  to  get  a  meridian  observ- 
ation for  rating  my  chronometers.  It  was  about  four 
P.M.  when  Clark  and  I  started  back  to  the  ice-cap. 

Before  we  left  the  moraine  camp  the  sun  had  set, 
and  before  we  reached  Pigeon  Camp  we  had  only  the 
moonlight  to  show  us  our  downward  tracks.  These 
we  followed  till  midnight,  when  we   reached  the  snow 

On  the  "Great  Ice"  97 

igloo  beyond  Pigeon  Camp.  Taking  out  a  block  or 
two  from  the  side  of  this  igloo,  we  pushed  the  sledge 
in  as  far  as  it  would  go,  and  partially  reclosed  the 
opening.  I  curled  myself  up  on  the  extra  harness 
and  spare  pemmican  bag  on  one  side  of  the  igloo, 
while  Clark  stretched  himself  on  the  sledge,  and  thus 
disposed  we  slept  until  six  o'clock  the  following  morn- 
ing in  a  temperature  of  —  35°  F.  Resuming  the  march, 
we  reached  the  party  at  two  o'clock  in  the  afternoon. 
In  accordance  with  my  instructions,  Entrikin  had 
pushed  two  sledges  and  loads  five  miles  ahead,  and 
had  utilised  the  rest  of  his  time  during  my  absence  in 
overhauling  the  equipment. 

As  soon  as  Clark  and  myself  had  had  a  cup  of  tea 
and  some  biscuit,  camp  was  struck,  the  remaining 
sledges  were  loaded,  and  we  pushed  on  to  the  two  ad- 
vanced sledges,  where  we  camped. 

The  next  morning,  and  through  the  three  following 
days,  snow,  thick  weather,  and  drift  made  it  impossi- 
ble for  us  to  march.  The  time  was  occupied,  how- 
ever, in  constructing  a  new  sledge  from  two  of  the 
spruce  runners  and  the  uprights  and  cross-bars  of 
our  two  seven-foot  sledges.  This  work  was  done 
almost  entirely  by  Entrikin,  assisted  to  some  extent 
by  Clark.  It  was  commenced  and  completed  in  tem- 
peratures of  —35°  to  —40°  F. 

On  Tuesday  morning,  March  2 2d,  although  the 
weather  was  still  very  unfavourable,  we  got  under  way, 
but  the  furious  head-wind  and  stineine  drift,  with  the 
temperature  of  —35°  F.,  compelled  us  to  halt  after  go- 
ing only  three  miles,  the  dogs  absolutely  refusing  to 
pull.  Here  we  camped.  Entrikin  and  Baldwin,  with 
the  alcohol  cooker  and  myself,  occupied  the  little 
protean  tent,  while  the  other  three  of  the  party  occu- 
pied the  silk  tent.  The  dogs  were  fastened  as  usual, 
each  team  was  divided  into  groups,  and,  dinner  over. 


Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

we  turned  in.  About  five  o'clock  next  morning,  I  was 
awakened  by  a  sudden  increase  in  the  force  of  the 
wind,  which  now  blew  with  such  violence  that,  had 
not  our  tent  been  all  in  one  piece,  connected  with  the 
floor  cloth  on  which  we  were  lying,  I  should  have  ex- 
pected to  have  had  it  blown  away  at  any  moment. 

The  drift  which  accompanied  this  storm  was  almost 
indescribable,  and  had  the  members  of  the  party  been 
any  less  perfectly  clothed  than  they  were,   it  would 


have  been  impossible  to  have  gone  out  of  our  shelter. 
As  it  was,  however,  Baldwin  made  his  regular  observ- 
ations at  the  observatory  sledge,  about  one  hundred 
feet  from  the  tent,  and  he  and  I  took  turns  in  carry- 
ing hot  tea  and  pea  soup  to  the  three  men  in  the  silk 
tent,  about  fifty  feet  distant.  Throughout  the  day 
and  the  following  night,  the  wind  steadily  increased  in 
violence,  until  it  became  impossible  to  shout  so  as  to 
be  heard  from  one  tent  to  the  other,  even  with  the 
utmost  effort  of  our  lungs. 

On  the  "Great  Ice"  99 

On  Thursday  afternoon,  the  drift  forced  an  entrance 
into  the  silk  tent,  and  in  order  to  escape  being  smoth- 
ered, its  occupants  were  obhged  to  get  out  as  best 
they  could  and  retreat  to  the  larger  tent.  In  doing 
this,  Davidson  had  his  heel,  and  Clark  a  toe,  two  fin- 
gers, and  a  thumb,  frost-bitten.  As  soon  as  they  were 
safely  in  our  tent,  Entrikin  turned  out  of  his  bag  and 
gave  his  place  to  Clark.  I  turned  my  deerskin  sleep- 
ing trousers  over  to  Davidson,  and  the  Doctor  curled 


himself  up  on  the  foot  of  the  big  bag.  This  left  a 
small  space  between  the  pole  and  the  tent  opening,  in 
which  Entrikin  and  I  could  stand.  This  space  was 
constantly  decreasing  in  size  from  the  drift,  which,  in 
spite  of  our  best  efforts,  continued  to  force  itself 
through  the  fly,  after  the  entrance  of  the  boys.  After 
a  time,  there  was  room  for  only  one  of  us,  and  we  al- 
ternated in  standing  up,  steadying  ourselves  by  the 
pole,  now  and  then  curling  up  on  the  snow-drift  for  a 
few  winks  of  sleep,  and  making  tea  several  times  dur- 

loo       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

ing  the  night  to  warm  up  the  boys  and  keep  up  their 
spirits.  The  straining  and  flapping  of  the  tent,  the 
deafeninof  roar  of  the  wind,  the  deviHsh  hissing-  of  the 
drift,  the  howhng  and  screaming  of  the  poor  dogs, 
made  a  pandemonium  never  to  be  forgotten. 

One  consoHno^  feature  was  the  fact  that,  owino-  to 
the  quaHty  and  construction  of  our  fur  clothing,  no 
one  of  the  party  suffered  severely  from  the  cold  while 
in  the  tent.  Personally,  though  without  sleeping-bag 
or  any  other  covering  beyond  my  deerskin  travel- 
ling garments,  I  was  entirely  warm  and  comfortable 
throughout  the  storm. 

Early  on  Friday  morning,  March  23d,  the  wind  be- 
gan to  subside,  and  at  seven  a.m.  I  was  out  looking 
upon  a  scene  that  made  me  sick  at  heart.  Half  my 
dogs  were  frozen  fast  in  the  snow,  some  by  the  legs, 
some  by  the  tails,  and  some  by  both.  Two  were  dead, 
and  all  were  in  a  most  pitiable  condition,  their  fur  a 
mass  of  ice  and  snow  driven  into  it  by  the  pitiless 
wind.  Several  had  freed  themselves  and  had  destroyed 
the  double  sleeping-bag  and  many  of  the  harnesses 
which  had  been  blown  off  the  tripods,  Baldwin's 
anemometer,  barograph,  and  thermograph,  which,  as 
the  result  of  his  ingenuity  and  perseverance,  had  kept 
on  recordino-  throughout  the  storm,  showed  that  for 
thirty-four  hours  the  average  wind  velocity  had  been 
over  forty-eight  miles  per  hour,  and  the  average  tem- 
perature about  —50°  F.,  with  a  minimum  of  over 
—  60°  F.  When  these  figures  are  considered  in  con- 
nection  with  our  elevation  of  some  five  thousand  feet, 
the  unobstructed  sweep  of  the  wind,  and  the  well- 
known  fact  that  ice-cap  temperatures  accompanied  by 
wind  are  much  more  trying  to  animal  life  than  the  same 
temperatures  at  sea-level,  it  is  believed  that  the  judg- 
ment will  be  that  this  storm  beats  the  record  as  the 
most   severe   ever  experienced   by  any   arctic   party. 

On  the  "Great  Ice 


All  PViday  was  spent  in  digging  out  the  sledges,  feed- 
ing the  dogs,  getting  them  in  shape  as  far  as  practica- 
ble, and  making  and  repairing  harnesses. 

Davidson's  heel  placed  him  entirely  hors  de  combat, 
necessitating  his  return  to  the  lodge,  and  as  the  Doc- 
tor two  days  before  had  confided  to  me  that  he  felt  he 
ouofht  to  be  at  the  Iodide  lookino-  after  Lee,  I  decided 
to  send  him  back  with  the  Doctor.  I  made  arrange- 
ments for  them  to  start  early  on  Saturday  morning. 

•"*  ^ 

aat^^St-'     '■ 

'^WI^^L ' 



'^''^^mMm     ^ 

1"  WiSi"     '? 

■    •    ,«,!  1 



S        .-r;'. . 



Clark's  frost-bitten  hand  was  not  injured  to  speak  of, 
the  effect  being  superficial  only.  His  feet,  however, 
were  frost-bitten  in  several  places,  and,  while  their 
condition  at  present  was  not  such  as  to  incapacitate 
him  from  travelling,  the  chances  were  perhaps  more 
than  even  that  additional  exposure  might  make  them 
worse.  As  he,  however,  had  said  nothing  of  turning 
back,  and  I  knew  him  to  be  desirous  of  keeping  on, 
I  felt  that  I  could  not  send  him  back  if  he,  after  thor- 

I02        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

oughly  understanding  the  pros  and  cons  of  the  case, 
still  wished  to  go  ahead,  and  was  willing  to  assume 
the  entire  risk  and  responsibility  as  to  his  own  per- 
sonal safety. 

I  told  him,  therefore,  that  if  he  went  on  beyond 
this  point,  and  should  have  more  trouble  with  his  feet, 
he  would  be  obliged  to  return  alone  on  his  ski,  without 
sledge  or  dogs,  as  I  could  neither  spare  another  mem- 
ber of  the  party  nor  dogs  to  take  him  back. 

I  told  him  to  talk  the  matter  over  with  the  Doctor 
and  let  me  know  his  decision.  An  hour  or  two  later, 
finding  him  at  work  on  some  harnesses,  I  asked  him 
if  he  had  made  up  his  mind.  He  answered  in  his 
deliberate  Yankee  way,  as  if  anything  different  had 
never  occurred  to  him  : 

"  Oh,  I  guess  I  shall  go  ahead  all  right,  sir,"  and 
go  ahead  he  did. 

Thick  weather  delayed  the  departure  of  Davidson 
and  the  Doctor  till  noon,  when  they  finally  left  us, 
Davidson  wrapped  in  a  sleeping-bag  and  seated  upon 
one  of  the  seven-foot  sledges,  cirawn  by  five  dogs. 
This  further  reduction  of  my  party  to  four  destroyed 
all  possibility  of  carrying  out  my  original  programme. 
I  felt  that  the  party  thus  reduced  should  remain  a 
unit,  and  this  meant  either  the  entire  abandonment  of 
the  east-coast  work  or  its  execution  by  the  same  party 
that  did  the  northern  work  after  its  return  to  Inde- 
pendence Bay. 


ON    THE    "great    ICE  "    {Continued). 

The  Start  from  Camp  Equinoctial — Continued  Mishaps — Mirage — 
Low  Temperatures — More  Storms — The  Dread  Piblockto  in  Full 
Force — The  Last  Advance  Camp — Provision  Cache — The  Return — 
Struggling  Back  under  Difficulties — Many  Dogs  Give  Out — The 
Lodge  Reached — Causes  of  Failure. 


ON    THE    "  GREAT    ICE       (Continued). 


FTER  they  had 
gone,  the  afternoon 
was  devoted  to 
,  strengthening  and  sewing 
up  holes  in  the  tent,  and 
repairing  the  torn  sleep- 
*  ina--baofs.  A  cache  was 
also  made  of  the  supplies 
that  were  now  superfluous, 
owincf  to  ti  5  reduced  size 
of  the  party.  A  complete 
readjustment  was  made  of 
The  next  day  we  left  camp,  each 
of  my  companions  with  a  large  sledge,  drawn  by  a 
team  of  eighteen  does.  This  arrano"ement  was  neces- 
sary  to  enable  us  to  take  all  of  the  supplies.  What 
the  handling  of  teams  like  this  means  only  those  who 
know  something  of  the  peculiarities  of  the  Eskimo  dog 
can  understand.  In  spite,  however,  of  their  two  days' 
rest  after  the  storm,  it  troubled  me  to  find  that  my 
dogs  were  not  in  condition,  and  after  travelling  seven 
miles  in  a  temperature  of  — 46°  F.,  with  a  fresh  south- 
easterly wind,  we  were  obliged  to  halt  and  camp  on  their 

The   following  day  gave  early  promise  of  being  a 


sledges  and  loads 

io6       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice 

favourable  one,  but  we  had  travelled  only  a  short  dis- 
tance when  the  wind  and  drift  met  us  again,  and  at 
the  end  of  three  miles  forced  us  to  camp.  Tuesday, 
the  27th  of  March,  was  a  bright,  sunshiny  day,  with 
just  a  light  north-easterly  breeze,  and  comparatively 
high  temperature  (—30°  F.).  The  demon  of  the 
ice-cap,  however,  had  only  begun  to  play  his  cards. 

Less  than  two 
miles  away  from 
the  camp,  one  of 
the  sledges,  while 
eoino-  over  a 
huge,  marble-like 
sastriigi,  broke  in 
the  bend  of  one 
of  the  runners, 
and  we  were  de- 
layed an  hour 
or  two  lashing 
another  sledge 
alongside  it,  mak- 
ing a  three-run- 
ner sledge.  At  - 
the  end  of  the 
fifth  mile  another 
sledge,  the  Long 
Serpent^  ran  up- 
on the  sharp  edge 
of  an  ugly,  rag- 
ged sasti^ugi,  and 
hung  there  brok- 
en-backed. This 
ended  the  day's 
march,  and  we  went  into  camp  to  unload  and  repair 
both  sledges. 

This  was  the  first  day  since  leaving  the  cache  ig- 


On  the  "Great  Ice"  107 

loos  that  we  had  been  able  to  see  more  than  a  few- 
yards  about  us.  The  surface  of  the  Inland  Ice  lay- 
in  long  swells.  Each  successive  one  was  slightly 
higher  than  the  preceding,  and  all  rose  somewhat 
higfher  to  our  ricrht,  and  descended  somewhat  lower 
to  our  left.  The  surface  was  firm,  yet  cloth-like  in 
texture,  and  the  rasping  of  the  sledge  runners  over  it 
came  to  my  ears  crisp  and  resonant,  even  when  three- 
quarters  of  a  mile  away.  At  frequent  intervals  were 
huge  sasti'ugi,  offspring  of  the  storm,  marble-like  in 
whiteness  and  hardness,  all  pointing  towards  Kane 
Basin,  whence  the  equinoctial  storm  had  issued,  and, 
hurtling  across  the  icy  canopy  of  Prudhoe  Land,  had 
fallen  upon  the  party  at  Equinoctial  Camp. 

Throughout  the  entire  march  there  were  constant 
miracfe  effects,  causing  curious  distortions  of  the 
members  of  the  party,  sledges,  and  dogs ;  and  a 
white  frost-cloud  of  condensation  accompanied  each 
team.  A  brilliant  parhelion  also  displayed  its  pris- 
matic colours  for  an  hour  or  two  during  the  day. 
At  this  camp,  three  of  the  dogs  that  were  unable  to 
ofo  on  were  killed  and  used  as  doe  food.  After  the 
dogs  were  fastened  and  fed,  I  found  that  the  boys 
were  so  discouraged  by  the  mishaps  of  the  day  that 
I  made  no  attempt  to  have  the  sledges  repaired,  but 
fixed  up  a  milk  punch,  and  had  everyone  turn  in. 

The  next  morning,  the  temperature  by  the  spirit 
thermometer  was  —51°  F.,  rising  later  to  —  36°F.,  but 
accompanied  then  by  north-east  wind  and  drift.  In 
this  weather  and  temperature,  and  without  shelter,  the 
sledges  were  repaired,  and  the  harnesses  overhauled 
and  repaired.  This  simple  statement  conveys  no  idea 
of  what  this  work  really  meant.  While  engaged  in  it, 
Entrikin  got  the  bottoms  of  his  feet  nipped,  and  this 
was  the  begrinnino^  of  his  serious  trouble. 

After  his  work  was  done,  the  Long  Serpent  was  a 

io8       Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  " 

much  stiffer  and  easier-running  sledge  than  before,  and 
I  had  hopes  that  it  would  last  to  Independence  Bay. 
Although  it  was  after  six  o'clock  when  the  sledges 
were  completed,  we  harnessed  up  and  went  on  for  a 
few  miles  rather  than  camp  a  second  night  in  the 
same  place. 

During  this  march,  the  wind  and  temperature,  act- 
ing upon  the  moisture  of  Baldwin's  breath,  froze  his 
kooletah  so  rigid  that  he  could  neither  walk  nor  turn 


his  head,  and  was  obliged  to  come  into  camp  lying  on 
his  sledge.  Here  w^e  came  to  his  assistance,  and  re- 
moved the  ice  and  snow,  which  had  almost  completely 
closed  the  face  opening  of  his  kooletah. 

The  next  day  was  clear,  with  temperatures  ranging 
from  —36°  F.  to  —40°  F.  With  everything  in  repair 
and  a  fair  surface  over  which  to  travel,  we  should  have 
made  good  progress,  but  the  wind  and  drift  directly 
ahead  were  on  hand  again,  and  at  the  end  of  ten  miles 
Entrikin's  team  balked,  and,  in  spite  of  all  efforts,  re- 

On  the  ''Great  Ice"  109 

fused  to  go  farther.  In  his  efforts  to  start  the  sledge, 
Entrikin  strained  his  back,  and  this,  together  with  his 
frost-bitten  feet,  put  him  in  a  decidedly  sober  mood. 
The  next  morning,  when  we  awoke,  Clark's  nose,  which 
had  projected  too  far  through  the  face  of  his  kooletah, 
was  frozen  to  his  sleeping-bag,  and  had  to  be  thawed 
off  by  the  warmth  of  his  hands. 

Entrikin  was  in  no  condition  to  march,  so  we  re- 
mained in  camp  to  give  him  a  chance  to  rest  and  get 
in  condition.  The  temperature  during  the  day  was 
well  down  in  the  minus  forties,  falling  at  seven  p.m.  to 
—  55°  F.  and  remaining  throughout  the  night  between 
-55°  F.  and  -57°  F. 

Everyone  except  myself  passed  an  exceedingly  com- 
fortless night.  Being  unencumbered  by  a  sleeping- 
bag,  I  was  able,  if  my  feet  got  chilly,  to  restore  the 
warmth  by  pounding  them  upon  the  snow. 

The  next  day  we  pushed  ahead  five  miles  more,  but 
the  work  showed  that  Entrikin  was  not  yet  in  trim  to 
stand  a  good  day's  march.  The  continued  low  tem- 
perature, too,  in  the  forties  and  fifties  below  zero,  with 
the  almost  constant  wind,  gave  my  dogs  no  chance  to 
recover  from  the  effects  of  the  equinoctial  storm,  and 
had  a  perceptibly  numbing  effect  upon  the  physical  and 
mental  faculties  of  my  party.  One  of  my  best  dogs 
died  this  day  from  the  effects  of  that  storm.  Several 
had  frost-bitten  feet,  and  were  unable  to  pull  properly. 
Others  were  passing  blood.  Lion,  the  hardy  vet- 
eran of  the  previous  trip,  was  laid  up  with  a  sore  leg, 
and  almost  all  the  animals  still  had  more  or  less  of 
the  snow  of  the  equinoctial  storm  remaining  in  their 

As  a  last  resort,  I  decided  to  remain  in  this  camp 
two  days,  to  give  Entrikin  a  final  chance,  and  to  see  if 
it  were  possible  to  get  the  dogs  in  any  better  condition. 
Throughout  these  two  days  the  temperature  was  well 

no      Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

down  in  the  forties  below  zero.  The  temperature  in 
the  tent  at  my  head  for  the  two  mornings  was  —  45°  F. 
and  —44°  F.,  respectively. 

On  the  morning  of  April  3d,  Entrikin's  feet  and 
back  were  in  much  better  condition,  and  I  felt  en- 
couraged to  think  that  he  could  now  keep  on  without 
further  trouble.  The  going  during  the  day  was  very 
good,  the  surface  hard,  smooth,  and  level,  interrupted 
only  occasionally  by  the  big  sasti^ugz.      At  the  end  of 

Temp.  —4°  F.,  in  Direct  Sun  Rays,  April  15,  1894. 

the  day's  march  we  had  covered  fifteen  miles,  but  the 
encouraging  effect  of  this  was  more  than  counteracted 
by  an  occurrence  which  gave  me  more  uneasiness  than 
any  other  mishap  thus  far.  One  of  the  dogs  was  at- 
tacked by  the  piblockto,  and  bit  nearly  all  the  dogs  in 
two  other  teams  before  he  was  shot. 

On  April  4th,  for  the  first  time,  the  day  passed 
without  mishap,  and  the  end  of  the  march  found  us 
fifteen  and  one-quarter  miles  from  the  last  camp. 

On  the  ''Great  Ice"  m 

The  next  day  again  we  advanced  fifteen  miles. 
Soon  after  making  camp  at  the  end  of  this  march,  it 
began  snowing  heavily,  with  a  strong  south  wind. 
This  was  the  beginning  of  a  storm  that  confined  us 
to  the  tent  for  the  next  three  days,  and  gave  the  fin- 
ishing stroke  to  my  poor  dogs.  When  the  storm 
ceased  many  of  them  were  buried  completely  in  the 
snow,  several  frozen  down,  and  two  were  dead  from 
exposure.  All  our  sledges  were  completely  snowed 
in,  and  the  tent  itself  half  buried  in  a  big  drift. 

The  following  march  was  only  seven  miles,  and 
this  distance  was  made  with  the  utmost  difficulty. 
The  frost-bitten  feet  were  much  worse,  and  two  more 
dogs  with  the  piblockto  had  bitten  nearly  every  dog 
in  the  pack.  One  of  these  dogs,  the  Agitator,  a 
powerful,  big,  wolfish  brute,  the  last  survivor  of  the 
dogs  purchased  on  the  Labrador  coast,  presented  just 
before  he  was  killed  as  savage  and  gory  a  spectacle 
as  I  have  ever  seen.  He  had  run  amuck  through  the 
team,  and,  half  blind  as  he  was  with  froth  and  blood, 
had  been  mercilessly  torn  and  shaken  by  the  dogs 
that  he  had  attacked.  As  the  rifle  was  levelled  at 
him,  he  stood  exhausted  and  panting,  with  head  and 
neck  swollen  to  twice  their  natural  size,  ears  torn  in 
shreds,  eyes  bloodshot,  bloody  foam  dripping  from 
his  jaws,  and  his  entire  body  flecked  with  foam  and 
blood  and  clotted  tufts  of  fur.  Though  so  weak  that 
he  could  scarcely  stand,  he  was  just  gathering  him- 
self for  another  spring  at  the  dog  nearest  him,  when 
the  bullet  passed  through  his  brain,  and  he  collapsed 
in  a  quivering  heap  on  the  blood-bespattered  snow. 

It  was  very  evident  that  the  dread  disease  had 
gained  a  firm  foothold  in  my  pack,  and  the  end  could 
not  be  far  away. 

On  April  loth,  after  taking  an  account  of  stock,  so 
to   speak,    and   turning  the   whole   matter  over  care- 

112       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

fully,  I  decided  that  it  was  not  advisable  to  attempt 
to  proceed  any  farther  this  season.  We  were  now 
128  miles  from  the  lodo^e.  As  to  the  condition  of 
my  party,  one  was  now  entirely  out  of  the  race  with 
frosted  feet,  and  must  return  to  the  lodge.  Another 
was  not  entirely  recovered  from  an  attack  of  cramps 
at  the  last  camp,  and  I  feared  another  storm  would 
bring  them  on  again.  The  third  had  both  heels  and 
great  toes  frost-bitten,  and  was  having  daily  attacks 


of  bleeding  from  the  nose.  All,  however,  showed 
true  grit,  and  were  willing  to  push  on.  But  the 
crushing  blow  was  the  existence  in  my  pack  of  the 
dreaded  and  incurable  piblocJdo,  induced  by  the  ex- 
treme exposure  of  the  past  four  weeks,  and  which, 
with  continued  work  and  exposure,  might  easily  re- 
duce my  pack  to  half  its  present  number,  or  even 
exterminate  it  entirely. 

Another  serious  feature  of  the  case  was  the  late- 
ness  of  the  season.      Instead  of  being  at  Independ- 

On  the  "Great  Ice"  113 

ence  Bay  on  the  ist  of  April,  as  I  had  planned,  it 
was  now  the  loth,  and  we  were  only  one-fourth  of 
the  way  there.  While  I  appreciated  the  fact  that 
two,  or  perhaps  three,  of  us  might  possibly  get  as  far 
as  Independence  Bay,  even  in  the  existing  state  of 
affairs,  anything  beyond  that  would  be  entirely  out 
of  the  question,  and  to  do  this  would  consume  all  of 
my  pemmican,  alcohol,  and  other  provisions,  which 
could  not  be  replaced,  and  would  thus  destroy  every 
chance  of  a  second  attempt  next  spring.  So  I  regret- 
fully turned  my  face  towards  the  lodge. 

Having  decided  that  my  journey  to  the  north  coast 
of  Greenland  must  be  given  up  for  this  season,  the 
next  thing  to  do  was  to  cache  the  pemmican  and  mark 
its  position  by  a  prominent  signal.  This  was  done  by 
piling  the  pemmican  bags  on  each  other  around  the 
base  of  a  fourteen-foot  bamboo  pole,  driven  into  the 
snow  two  and  one-half  feet  till  it  came  to  a  bearing  upon 
an  icy  crust.  The  bags  were  then  covered  deep  with 
snow,  forming  a  pile  some  five  feet  high.  The  pole 
just  above  this  was  braced  by  a  tripod  formed  of  two 
ski  and  a  sledge  runner,  and  the  top  of  the  pole  itself 
was  surmounted  by  an  empty  cracker  tin,  firmly  wired 
to  it.  This  signal  could  be  easily  seen  for  a  distance 
of  between  two  and  three  miles  under  ordinary  con- 
ditions, and  with  the  sun  in  a  favourable  position,  so 
as  to  have  its  rays  reflected  from  the  sides  of  the 
cracker  tin,  probably  twice  that  distance. 

This  cache  is  situated  124  miles  north-east,  half- 
east  (true),  from  the  moraine  camp,  and  is  at  an  ele- 
vation of  some  5500  feet  above  the  sea-level.  The 
surface  of  the  Inland  Ice  before  reaching  this  point 
had  been  practically  level  during  the  last  two  or  three 
marches,  and  it  was  apparently  the  same  in  every 
direction  from  the  cache,  though  probably  still  rising 
slightly  to  the  north-east  and  east. 

114       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

The  work  of  erecting  the  signal,  together  with  the 
rearranging  of  the  sledge  loads  and  repairing  the  har- 
nesses, took  up  the  whole  day,  and  the  "following 
morning  we  started  back  over  our  outward  sledge 


On  our  first  return  march  we  covered  eighteen  and 
a  half  miles,  the  result  of  our  greatly  reduced  loads, 
and  the  fact  that  the  wind  was  now  behind  us  in- 
stead of  in  our  faces.  Then  the  clogs  were  played  out 
and  we  camped.      During  this  march  another  dog  was. 

On  the  "Great  Ice"  115 

attacked  with  the  piblockto.  After  reaching  camp, 
three  others  that  showed  undoubted  symptoms  of  the 
disease  were  shot.  As  we  made  camp,  there  were  all 
the  indications  of  another  storm,  a  solid  mass  of  dark, 
sullen  clouds  sweeping  rapidly  over  us  from  the  south- 
east. By  the  time  our  dinner  was  finished  the  storm 
burst  upon  us,  and  furious  wind  with  snow  and  drift 
held  sway  throughout  the  night,  and  until  late  the 
following  afternoon,  when  there  came  a  lull  which 
enabled  us  partially  to  dig  out  the  sledges,  and  for  a 
short  time  gave  hopes  of  our  being  able  to  move  on. 
Another  dog  was  found  at  his  last  gasp  and  put  out 
of  misery.  The  lull  was  of  short  duration,  and  the 
wind  and  drift  closed  in  on  us  and  drove  us  back  to 
the  hut  until  the  next  mornino-. 

Baldwin,  in  an  attempt  to  reach  the  observatory 
sledge,  was  thrown  down  by  the  fury  of  the  wind, 
nearly  suffocated  by  the  drift,  and  struggled  back  to 
the  tent,  his  clothing  driven  full  of  the  fine  snow,  and 
he  himself  numb  and  almost  helpless  with  the  cold. 
Early  the  next  morning,  the  storm  ceased,  and  I  found 
two  more  of  my  dogs  dead  and  another  frozen  to  the 
stake  to  which  he  was  fastened,  and  evidently  not  good 
for  more  than  one  more  march.  The  entire  forenoon 
was  spent  in  digging  out  the  sledges  and  tent  and  in  un- 
tanalino;  the  doo-s.  In  the  afternoon  we  covered  four- 
teen  more  miles  on  our  return.  Entrikin  was  obliged 
to  ride  all  day  on  account  of  the  condition  of  his  feet. 

Words  are  powerless  to  give  an  idea  of  the  relief 
afforded  us  by  the  calm  night  which  we  passed  at  this 
camp,  after  the  days  and  nights  of  storm  and  wind 
shrieking  past  the  tent. 

The  next  morning  the  thermometer  at  my  head  was 
up  to  —  32°  F.,  yet  three  more  of  my  dogs  were  unable 
to  travel,  and  were  killed  before  we  left  camp.  This  re- 
duction in  the  number  of  does,  and  the  exhausted  con- 

II 6       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

dition  of  those  left,  compelled  me  to  cache  here  some 
three  hundred  pounds  of  supplies.  During  this  day's 
march  we  covered  sixteen  miles  in  what  seemed  to  us 
summer  weather  and  complete  calm,  the  thermometer 


registering  —4°  F.  when  placed  upon  a  piece  of  fur  and 
exposed  directly  to  the  rays  of  the  sun.  This  day 
again,  Entrikin,  in  spite  of  repeated  efforts  to  hobble 
along  with  his  feet  muffled  in  several  thicknesses  of 
fur,  was  oblio-ed  to  ride  the  entire  distance. 

On  the  "Great  Ice"  n; 

Monday,  April  i6th,  was  a  clear,  calm  day,  with 
the  thermometer  at  —40°  F.  I  found  two  more  dogs 
nearly  dead  in  the  morning,  and  big  Kessuh,  the 
most  powerful  animal  in  the  pack,  was  taken  very 
sick  soon  after  we  started.  Eleven  miles  from  the 
camp  I  was  obliged  to  cache  one  sledge  and  the 
greater  portion  of  the  load,  and  divide  the  dogs  be- 
tween the  other  two  sledges.  At  the  end  of  sixteen 
miles  we  went  into  camp. 

The  morning  of  the  17th  found  three  more  dogs 
in  no  condition  to  travel,  and  during  the  march  we 
had  for  accompaniments  heavy  drift  and  wind.  We 
were  encouraged,  however,  soon  after  starting,  by 
coming  upon  our  old  acquaintances,  the  giant  sastrugi 
of  the  equinoctial,  and  an  hour  later  we  crossed  the 
wind  divide  of  Prudhoe  Land,  where  the  atmospheric 
currents  from  the  interior  separate,  part  flowing  north- 
ward to  Kane  Basin  and  part  southward  to  Inglefield 
Gulf  and  Whale  Sound.  Two  hours  after  this,  I 
came  upon  our  outward  sledge  tracks,  now  twenty- 
three  days  old,  still  distinct  and  easily  traceable. 
After  following  these  tracks  for  three  miles,  another 
team  gave  out,  and  we  encamped  with  fourteen  miles 
to  our  credit.  During  this  march,  one  of  the  dogs 
fell  exhausted  in  his  harness  and  was  shot.  The 
Kessuh  dog  continued  very  sick. 

Wednesday,  April  i8th,  was  a  brilliant,  clear,  calm 
day.  Still  another  dog  was  found  exhausted  in  the 
morning.  At  10  :  30  a.m.,  while  yet  three  miles  dis- 
tant, we  saw  the  cache  at  Equinoctial  Camp  ahead  of 
us,  and  reached  it  at  noon.  Here  the  observatory 
sledge  was  left,  and  after  eating  our  lunch  we  hurried 
on  in  hopes  of  gaining  the  cache  igloos  for  our  next 
camp.  At  eight  p.m.,  it  was  evident  that  we  were  past 
the  cache  igloos,  our  course  having  lain  a  little  to  the 
east,  and  we  were  now  converging  towards  the  well- 

II 8       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

travelled  route  between  the  cache  igloos  and  the 
moraine.  The  pronounced  down  grade  was  so  fav- 
ourable that  we  had  already  covered  eighteen  and 
one-half  miles,  and  we  fastened  the  dogs  and  erected 
the  tent  for  what   I  intended,  unless  the  weather  was 

of  the  very  worst, 
should  be  our  last 
camp  on  the  ice- 

The  march  this 
day  with  the  daz- 
zling sun  directly 
in  our  faces  had 
seriously  affected 
our  eyes,  and  I 
knew  that,  to 
cover  the  twenty- 
four  miles  be- 
tween our  present 
camp  and  the 
moraine,  we  must 
be  relieved  from 
this  annoyance 
by  travelling  at 
night.  We  there- 
fore remained  in 
this  camp  twenty- 
three  hours. 
Then,  leaving 
the  three -run- 
ner sledge,  and 
attaching  the 
twenty-five  remaining  dogs  (big  Kessuh  having  died 
during  the  night)  to  the  long  sledge,  on  which  was 
packed  nothing  but  our  tent,  cooking  apparatus,  and 
sleeping-gear,  we  began  the  last  stage  of  our  retreat. 


On  the  "Great  Ice" 


About  a  mile  and  a  quarter  from  camp,  we  came 
upon  one  of  the  bamboo  mile  posts  on  the  trail  from 
the  moraine  to  the  cache  igloos,  and  taking  up  the 
familiar  course  from  this  to  Pigeon  Camp,  we  passed 
other  poles  and  tent  sites,  and  so  on  downward,  with 
the  ice-caps  of  Red  Cliff  Peninsula  and  those  between 


Inglefield    Gulf   and   Olriks   Bay  gradually  climbing 
above  the  edge  of  the  ice-cap  ahead  of  us. 

Abreast  of  Pigeon  Camp,  we  found  the  surface  of 
the  ice-cap  scoured  and  tortured  into  frozen  waves 
of  such  size  and  raggedness  as  to  be  impassable  for 
the  sledge,  the  crests  of  the  waves  constantly  catch- 

I20       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

ing  on  the  cross-bars.  We  were  now  only  six  miles 
from  the  moraine,  so  the  dogs  were  detached  from 
the  sledge  and  divided  among  the  bo3's,  while  I  went 
ahead.  We  passed  on  down  to  the  moraine  camp, 
which  we  reached  at  seven  o'clock  in  the  morning. 
Here  I  left  the  boys  to  rest  and  to  take  a  nap,  and 
hurried  on  down  the  valley  to  the  lodge,  to  get  hot 
drink  and  stimulants  ready  for  them  against  their 
arrival,  I  reached  Anniversary  Lodge  about  nine 

The  causes  of  failure  of  the  trip  are  to  be  found 
primarily  in  the  extremely  antagonistic  weather,  and 
secondarily  in  my  failure  to  properly  appreciate  the 
limits  of  endurance  of  the  Eskimo  dog.  With  regard 
to  the  weather,  the  number  and  duration  of  the 
storms,  the  incessancy  and  violence  of  the  wind,  and 
the  uninterrupted  low  temperatures  were  exceptional 
even  for  this  region  ;  and  the  exemption  of  the  mem- 
bers of  the  party  from  permanent  injury,  as  a  result 
of  their  continued  exposure,  shows  conclusively  the 
perfection  and  adequateness  of  their  clothing. 

With  regard  to  the  second  cause  of  our  defeat,  I 
confess  that  previous  to  this  experience  I  had  believed 
the  Eskimo  dog  of  Whale  Sound  capable  of  enduring 
the  severest  stress  of  weather  possible  in  this  latitude. 
This  may  hold  true  at  sea-level,  but  on  the  ice-cap, 
when  the  weather  is  in  its  fiercest  mood,  the  toughest 
Eskimo  dog  needs  shelter. 

The  frost-bites  of  the  members  of  the  party  were 
the  result  of  inexperience,  and  had  there  been  the 
slightest  cessation  of  the  low  temperatures,  they 
would  have  had  an  opportunity  to  yield  to  treatment. 



Recuperating  from  the  Ice-Cap  Exposure — Sledge  Trip  to  Olriks 
Bay— Westward  to  Peterahwik — Off  for  Cape  York  in  Search  of  the 
"Iron  Mountain" — Round  Cape  Parry — The  Ignimut — Across  Wol- 


York — A  Young  Bachelor's  Den — Discovery  of  the  "  Saviksue  " — Re- 
turn TO  Cape  York — Storm-Bound — :Arduous  Return  Trip  to  Lodge — 
A  Wild  Toboggan  Ride — Arrival  of  the  Falcon — Departure  of  the 



IT  required  something 
like  two  weeks  for 
the  ice-cap  party  to 
recover  from  the  strain 
and  exposure  of  the  work 

and  storms  on  the  "  Great 


Inaction  was  unbear- 
able to  me,  and  as  soon 
as  my  dogs  were  in  con- 
dition to  travel  again,  I 
started,  accompanied  by 
Mrs.  Peary,  to  explore  and  survey  Olriks  Bay. 

In  a  sledge  trip  of  five  days'  duration,  we  reached 
the  very  head  of  the  bay,  nearly  fifty  miles  from  its 

We  were  the  first  white  persons  ever  to  penetrate 
the  innermost  recesses  of  this  striking  fjord,  which 
winds  like  a  g-reat  river  between  oriant  cliffs  and  roll- 
ing  deer  pastures,  to  its  source  against  the  face  of  the 
Marie  Glacier  sweeping  down  from  the  "  Great  Ice." 
Olriks  Bay,  which  is  shown  with  absolute  inaccu- 
racy on  all  the  charts  of  this  region,  is  interesting  in 
that  it  is  different  from  any  other  bay  or  fjord  in  the 


124       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

entire  region  from  Melville  Bay  to  the  Hun-iboldt 
Glacier,  "its  characteristics  are  more  those  of  a  river 
than  of  a  bay  or  fjord,  as  will  be  seen  at  once  from 
the  map  and  the  statement  of  its  dimensions,  which 
are  :  length  fifty  miles,  and  a  maximum  breadth  at 
the  mouth  of  five  miles,  narrowing  in  two  places  to 
about  ii  miles,  and  an  average  width  from  mouth  to 
head  of  little,  if  any,  over  2^  miles.     The  bay  is  di- 


Mrs.  Peary's  Equipage. 

vided  naturally  into  three  sections,  namely,  the  outer, 
middle,  and  inner  reaches,  by  the  contractions  of  the 
outer  and  inner  narrows.  The  head  of  the  bay  is  but 
a  short  distance  from  the  head  of  Academy  Bay,  the 
same  ice-stream  throwing-  down  a  branch  into  each. 
My  desire  to  examine  this  inlet  dated  from  April, 
1892,  when  I  crossed  its  mouth  on  a  sledge,  and 
this  desire  was  much  increased  by  the  visual  evi- 
dence from  the  ice-cap,  during  March  and  April  of 

126       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

this  year,  of  its  extension   eastward   far  beyond  the 
hmits  shown  on  the  charts. 

The  absence  of  any  bergs  in  this  bay,  at  the  time  of 
the  visit  of  the  Falcon  last  August,  led  me  to  think 
there  could  be  no  discharo-ino"  orlaciers  at  or  near  its 
head.  The  present  trip,  however,  discovered  two  dis- 
charging glaciers,  only  one  of  which,  however,  appears 
to  produce  bergs  of  any  size,  and  the  absence  of 
bergs  in  the  lower  portion  of  the  bay  can  easily  be 
accounted   for   by  the    extreme    shallowness   of   the 


Head  of  Olriks  Bay. 

middle  portion  between  the  two  narrows,  which  would 
prevent  the  bergs  from  passing  out,  and  also  the  posi- 
tion and  environment  of  the  bay,  which  causes  a  con- 
centration of  the  summer  heat  in  such  a  way  as 
undoubtedly  rapidly  melts  the  bergs.  The  glaciers 
of  this  bay,  numbering  six,  include  a  very  considerable 
one,  Savage  Glacier,  near  its  mouth,  directly  opposite 
Kanga.  This  glacier  is  apparently  the  largest  of 
the  unique  series  of  glaciers  which  occupies  every 
break  in  the  cliffs  on  the  south  shore  of  the  Sound 

Discovery  of  the  "Saviksue"  127 

from  Netiulumi  eastward,  and  in  the  number  and  ex- 
tent of  its  crevasses  it  is  certainly  the  most  vicious- 
looking  of  them  all. 

In  physical  characteristics,  the  inner  and  outer  sec- 
tions of  the  bay  are  quite  similar,  but  the  middle  is 
different  from  either.  The  two  former  are  confined  by 
high  vertical  cliffs  and  steep  bluffs,  standing  at  the 
maximum  angle  of  repose  possible  for  the  coarse  ma- 
terial of  which  their  slopes  are  composed,  while  in 
the  middle  section  the  terrene  reaches  away  from  the 
shore  in  a  succession  of  rounded  hills  and  ridges, 
gradually  increasing  in  height  until  it  reaches  the  ice- 
cap on  either  side. 

A  day  or  two  later  I  made  another  trip  partly  over- 
land, westward  to  the  scene  of  the  spring  walrus  hunt 
at  Peterahwik,  to  secure  dog  food  for  my  teams,  and 
survey  the  coast  beyond  McCormick  Bay. 

At  Peterahwik,  just  abreast  of  the  ruins  of  some 
fifty  snow  igloos,  where  a  month  before  had  been  the 
bustling,  populous  village  of  the  walrus  hunt,  I  found 
the  edge  of  the  black  North  Water  swirling,  under  a 
dense  canopy  of  fog,  against  the  rocks  of  the  shore, 
and  my  further  progress  was  stopped. 

Completing  my  surveys  to  this  point,  and  purchas- 
ing a  considerable  quantity  of  walrus  meat,  I  returned 
to  the  lodge. 

On  the  1 6th  of  May,  I  left  the  lodge  again  with 
Lee,  my  iron-runner  sledge,  and  ten  dogs,  in  search 
of  the  ''  Iron  Mountain,"  of  Melville  Bay. 

When  turning  over  in  my  mind  the  project  for  my 
1 89 1  and  1892  Expedition  to  Whale  Sound,  the  discov- 
ery of  this  "  Iron  Mountain"  was  naturally  one  of  the 
minor  attractions  of  this  region,  and  during  the  win- 
ter at  Red  Cliff  House  I  obtained  from  the  natives 
considerable  information  in  regard  to  the  mysterious 
object ;  learned  that  it  had  been  visited  by  many  of 

128        Northward  over  the  ''Great  Ice" 

the  present  generation  of  the  natives ;  and  made  a 
bargain  with  one  of  the  young  men  of  the  tribe  to 
give  him  a  gun  if  he  would  guide  me  to  it  when  my 
party  returned  southward. 

The  lateness  of  the  season,  thick  weather,  and  the 
presence  of  much  ice  when,  in  August,  1892,  the  Kite 
steamed  southward  past  Cape  York,  rendered  any 
delay  inadvisable,  so  the  attempt  to  locate  it  was 
abandoned  for  the  time. 

Again  in  1893  and  1894,  the  discovery  of  this  "moun- 


tain  "  had  its  place  in  the  schedule  of  the  work  which  I 
hoped  to  accomplish,  and  when,  on  the  ist  of  August, 
1 893,  my  ship  the  Falcon  dropped  anchor  inside  of  Cape 
York,  after  the  quickest  passage  on  record  through 
Melville  Bay  (24  hrs.,  50  min.),  and  from  the  summit 
of  Cape  York  itself  I  saw  the  coast  to  the  eastward 
in  the  reputed  locality  of  the  "mountain"  apparently 
free  of  heavy  ice,  I  hesitated  some  time  before  decid- 
ing that  it  was  hardly  advisable  to  risk  any  delay  to, 
or  interference  with,  the  main  object  of  my  Expedition 
by  taking  the  Falcon  out  of  her  course. 

Discovery  of  the  "Saviksue" 


Among  the  possibiHties  of  my  present  trip  was  a 
return  over  the  Inland  Ice  from  Cape  York  or  the 
"Iron  Mountain,"  to  some  point  in  Olriks  Bay,  either 
as  a  matter  of  choice  in  the  event  of  pleasant  weather 
and  a  rapid  down  trip,  or  as  a  matter  of  compulsion 
in  the  event  of  the  breaking  up  of  the  sea  ice  between 
Cape  York  and  Wolstenholm  Sound,  before  we  were 
ready  to  return. 


Behind  the  sledge  trailed  my  new  odometer,  play- 
fully known  by  the  boys  as  "the  locomotive,"  and 
warranted  to  stand  all  shocks  from  the  ice  or  a  follow- 
ing sledge. 

It  was  a  glittering  wintry  day,  with  fresh  south 
wind,  the  temperature  25°  F.,  and  abundant  cumuli 
casting  cloud  shadows  on  the  white  expanse  of  the 
bay  and  distant  ice-caps. 

At  Castle  Cliffs,  on  the  ice-foot  under  the  lee  of  a 
great  sandstone  boulder,  we  found  the  tupiks  or  seal- 

I30       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

skin  tents  of  Panikpah  and  Koolootingwah.  Panik- 
pah  was  to  be  our  driver  from  here  on,  and  while  I 
cHmbed  up  the  rocks  for  a  round  of  angles  from  the 
cairn  at  this  point,  he  brought  out  his  kooletah  and 
extra  kamiks  and  lashed  them  on  the  sledge,  while 
Lee  untangled  the  dogs. 

From  Castle  Cliffs  we  drove,  as  the  crow  flies, 
straight  across  the  gulf  to  Tigerahomi  Point,  the  an- 
gle in  the  coast-line  beween  the  mouths  of  Olriks  and 
Academy  Bays.      Half  an  hour  before  midnight  we 



reached  the  now  deserted  villacje  of  Narksami.  This 
villao-e  is  situated  in  a  westward-facino-  cove  fronting^ 
Herbert  Island,  and  is  walled  by  steeply  sloping 
mountains.  The  habitations  numbered  four  ;  stone 
igloos  built  against  a  bank  just  above  high  water,  and 
just  south  of  the  boulder-strewn  delta  of  a  great  /kook 
(river)  from  the  ice-cap.  Here  we  stopped  to  repair 
the  sledges  and  prepare  supper,  which  was  cooked  on 
an  open  fireplace  in  front  of  the  igloos,  with  seal 
blubber  for    fuel.     This   repast  of  seal  meat,  brown 

Discovery  of  the  "Saviksue"  131 

bread,  pea  soup,  and  tea  finished,  we  started  on  and 
at  four  A.M.  arrived  at  the  northern  point  of  Ohiks  Bay. 
Here  perched  on  shehered  shelves  of  the  rocks  we 
found  three  tupiks.  In  niches  in  the  pudding-stone 
ledge  were  several  fireplaces,  and  on  the  ice-foot  two 
seals  and  numerous  pieces  of  blubber  and  walrus 
meat.  We  were  travelling  in  the  season  of  sunshine 
and  plenty.  The  big  clean  tupik  of  Ootooniah  was 
vacant,  he  and  his  wife  being  away  visiting,  and  this 
offered  such  a  good  opportunity  for  undisturbed  sleep 


after  our  nineteen  hours'  march,  that  we  immediately 
availed  ourselves  of  it  and  turned  in. 

Eight  or  nine  hours  of  refreshing  sleep  put  us 
in  trim  for  the  next  day's  work,  and  we  pushed 
across  the  mouth  of  Olriks  Bay  to  Ittibloo,  where 
we  found  four  tupiks  occupied  by  about  twice  as 
many  families. 

Stopping  but  a  short  time  at  this  place,  we  pushed 
on  along  the  south  shore  towards  Netiulumi.  We 
had  not  proceeded  more  than  three  or  four  miles  on 
our  way  when  we   were  overtaken   by   two  sledges. 

132       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

These  turnouts  were  so  entirely  different  from  each 
other  that  they  are  worthy  of  notice.  One  was  a 
family  conveyance,  a  large  sledge  upon  which  was 
piled  the  tupik,  with  all  the  hunting  gear  and  house- 
hold goods  of  the  family,  until  the  load  was  so  high 
that  it  had  been  necessary  to  lash  on  a  board  to  serve 
as  an  intermediate  step  by  which  to  reach  the  top. 
Perched  upon  this  sat  Ootooniaksoah  with  his  wife 
Ahkatah  and  his  four-  or  five-year-old  boy  Teddyling- 

wah.  This  load  was 
drawn  by  seven  small 
dogs,  which  were  strain- 
ing every  muscle  under 
the  persuasive  influence 
of  Ootooniaksoah's 
twenty -foot  rawhide 
lash,  that  played  on  and 
about  them  with  reports 
like  a  volley  from  a 

A  strikingr  contrast, 
the  other  sledge  ;  Nup- 
sah  out  on  a  seal-hunt 
with  three  powerful 
brawny  dogs  and  noth- 
ino-  on  his  sledore  but 
his  seal-chair.  The  for- 
mer turnout  reminded 
me  of  those  family  picnic-wagons,  so  many  of  which 
may  be  seen  entering  Fairmount  Park  on  Sunday 
morning ;  the  latter,  a  bachelor  in  his  sulky,  speeding 
a  favourite  pacer. 

At  Netiulumi,  we  occupied  the  tupik  of  one-eyed 
Merktoshar  and  his  kindly  wife  Ahma.  Their  tupik 
offered  the  advantage  of  being  pitched  on  the  ice  of 
the  bay,  away  from  the  filth  and  offal  which  surrounded 


Discovery  of  the  "  Saviksue  "  133 

the  tupiks  of  the  village  ;  of  being  free  of  children,  and 
having  a  bed  of  clean  fresh  deerskins. 

Among  the  natives  here  was  Tallakoteah,  who  at 
Red  Cliff,  two  years  ago,  had  acted  as  my  mail  carrier, 
taking  letters  to  Cape  York  to  deliver  to  a  whaler. 
He  had  fulfilled  this  mission  faithfully,  as  my  letters 
had  reached  their  destination  after  my  own  return 
home,  and  Tallakoteah  now  delivered  to  me  a  brief 
note  from  Capt.  Allen  of  the  Tei'ra  Nova,  dated  June 
6,  1892,  acknowledging  the  receipt  of  my  mail. 

This  man  was  thoroughly  conversant  with  the  region 
about  Cape  York,  having  lived  there  several  seasons, 
and  professed  to  be  well  acquainted  with  the  location 
of  the  "  Iron  Mountain,"  which  he  said  he  had  seen 
repeatedly.  He  told  me  that  there  were  three  savik- 
sue  (great  irons)  of  varying  sizes,  the  smallest  about 
the  size  of  a  mikkie  (dog),  indicating  a  dog  curled  up, 
the  second  considerably  larger,  and  the  third  still 
larger  than  the  second. 

He  also  said  that  one  of  them  was  neither  very 
high  above  the  water-level  nor  very  far  from  the 
water,  while  the  other  two  were  up  on  the  side  of  the 
mountain.  He  agreed  to  go  with  us  to  Cape  York 
and  QTuide  me  to  them. 

He  would  take  his  own  sledge  and  four  dogs,  and 
for  the  consideration  of  a  knife  I  obtained  from 
Ahngeenyah  five  more  fine  animals,  which  would  give 
me  sixteen  dogs  in  all,  three  of  my  original  team  hav- 
ing been  given  to  Panikpah  to  enable  him  to  get 
back  home. 

At  one  A.M.  of  the  19th,  we  left  Netiulumi, 
Tallakoteah  and  myself  on  one  sledge  drawn  by  ten 
dogs,  Lee  following  with  the  second  sledge  drawn  by 
six.  The  midnight  hours  were  gloomy  and  overcast, 
but  this  did  not  trouble  us  as  long  as  fresh  dogs  and 
snow-free  ice  permitted  us  to  dash  at  full  gallop  west- 

134       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

ward  for  Cape  Parry,  the  black  promontory  which 
stands  guard  at  the  southern  entrance  of  Whale 

Three  hours  later  we  rounded  the  cape,  into  the 
teeth  of  a  driving  snow-storm,  whose  fast-falling  flakes 
hid  everything  from  our  eyes,  but  did  not  keep  from 
our  ears  the  sound  of  waves,  and  the  puffing  of  nar- 
whals in  the  open  water  close  on  our  right.  A  few 
miles  south  of  Cape  Parry,  the  violence  of  the  storm 


had  reached  such  a  pitch  that  we  could  make  no  head- 
way against  it,  and  we  sought  the  opportune  shelter 
of  an  igloo  which  Tallakoteah  had  excavated  in  a 
snow-bank,  during  his  upward  trip  from  Cape  York 
some  weeks  previous. 

In  these  contracted  quarters,  we  remained  some 
twenty  hours,  when  a  loose  dog  walking  over  the 
roof  of  our  shelter  brought  the  whole  thino-  down 
upon  us,  and  drove  us  out  into  the  storm,  which  had 

Discovery  of  the  "Saviksue"  135 

fortunately  abated  somewhat  at  this  time.  A  glance 
at  the  ruins  decided  me  to  attempt  to  push  on.  We 
found  the  snow  deep  and  heavy,  and  underlaid  with 
several  inches  of  slush.  Through  this  the  dogs  could 
scarcely  drag  the  sledges  alone,  and  riding  for  us  was 
entirely  out  of  the  question. 

Off  Bell  Rock,  the  summit  of  which  looked  down 
on  us  for  a  few  moments  through  the  mist  and  snow, 
Tallakoteah  shot  a  seal,  the  less  desirable  portions  of 


w^hich  furnished  the  dogs  an  acceptable  repast,  while 
the  choicer  cuts  were  reserved  for  ourselves.  Just 
below  the  entrance  to  Booth  Sound,  we  found  five 
tupiks  pitched  just  above  the  ice-foot,  the  five  families 
awaiting  the  cessation  of  the  storm  in  order  to  con- 
tinue their  journey. 

With  our  arrival  the  work  of  striking  these  tupiks 
was  commenced,  and  we  stopped  long  enough  to 
have    Tahwanah's   wife,    Nelleekah,    cook    our    seal 

136       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

meat,  off  which  we  made  a  hearty  meal,  and  then 
pushed  on  again.  It  was  still  snowing,  the  travelling 
grew  constantly  heavier  and  heavier,  and  the  ice  was 
intersected  by  cracks  which,  masked  by  the  deep 
snow,  allowed  us  to  step  into  them  without  warning. 
This  kept  us  constantly  wet  to  the  hips.  We  passed 
the  site  of  the  winter  hut  of  the  boat  party  from  the 
Advance  in  1854,  and  a  little  farther  on  a  snow  igloo 
and  tupik,  the  occupants  of  which  immediately  gath- 
ered up  their  belongings  and  joined  our  caravan. 

At  three  p.m.,  we  came  up  to  open  water  imping- 
ing directly  against  the  shore,  and,  crossing  the  ice- 
foot on  a  shaky  bridge  of  floating  ice-cakes,  we 
reached  the  snow-covered  shore,  and  followed  it  to 
the  north  point  of  Wolstenholm  Sound,  the  "  land  of 
Noogli"  and  the  neighbourhood  of  the  ignimut,  or 
firestone,  of  the  natives.  Guided  by  my  Eskimo 
friends,  I  visited  the  site  of  this  interesting  deposit 
of  pyrites,  which  the  natives  have  used  for  steel  in 
obtaining  fire,  but,  owing  to  the  unusual  depth  of 
snow,  did  not  actually  see  it. 

Leaving  the  point,  we  went  along  the  shore  a  short 
distance,  then  descended  into  the  slush-covered,  crack- 
intersected  ice  of  the  Sound,  inside  the  open  water. 

Our  course  was  directed  through  the  foe  across  the 
Sound  towards  Saunders  Island,  which,  after  a  few 
hours,  was  faintly  visible  ;  then  the  sun  broke  through 
a  rift  in  the  clouds,  and  the  island,  with  its  regularly 
banded  cliffs,  loomed  up  before  us  like  a  huge  car- 
nelian.  Before  we  reached  it,  a  fresh  south  wind  be- 
gan to  whirl  the  white  drift  over  the  surface  of  the 
bay  and  into  our  faces,  and  we  sought  shelter  in  a 
niche  in  the  rocks  forming  its  south-eastern  shore. 
Three  sledges  overtook  us  just  as  we  arrived  here, 
and  their  occupants  immediately  began  building  a 
combination    tupik    and    igloo,   erecting   a  low  snow 

Discovery  of  the  ''Saviksue"  137 

wall,  and  throwing  over  this  the  folded  tupiks. 
While  this  was  being  done,  Lee  and  myself  were 
enjoying  a  luxurious  repast  of  seal  steaks  and  tea, 
cooked  over  a  fireplace  in  a  small  cave  in  the  rocks. 

We  obtained  here  six  and  a  half  hours'  sleep,  and 
started  for  Cape  Athol  at  two  in  the  afternoon. 

At  six  P.M.,  we  came  upon  open  water  off  Cape 
Athol,  a  broad  lead  reaching  from  the  cape  clear 
across  to  Saunders  Island.  After  a  single  glance  at 
this  lead,   my  driver  whirled   his   team  around   and 

Lee  Feeding  the  Dogs. 

Started  at  full  speed  for  Narksami,  to  cross  overland 
to  the  ice  south  of  the  open  water.  Following  up  the 
valley  of  the  great  kook  at  the  mouth  of  which  the 
village  is  situated,  we  climbed  to  the  snow-covered 
interior  plateau  some  thousand  feet  above  the  sea- 
level,  then  southward  across  this  plateau  about  six 
miles  to  another  valley,  descending  which,  we  came 
out  on  the  sea  ice  again  in  a  little  cove  about  five 
miles  north  of  Petowik  Glacier.  While  crossing  this 
plateau,  we  saw  seven  deer,  one  of  which  was  shot. 

138       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

The  sea  ice  now  was  smooth  and  free  of  snow,  and 
we  swept  at  good  speed  along  the  wild  shore  cliffs, 
past  the  rookeries  of  little  auks,  past  the  contorted 
sides  of  Mt.  Agony,  to  a  cave  close  beside  the  Pe- 
towik  Glacier,  perhaps  the  very  one  in  which  Kane 
hauled  up  his  boats.  This  cave  is  a  regularly  arched 
grotto  in  the  solid  gneissose  rock  at  or  just  above 


high-water  mark.  It  is  about  twenty  feet  high  and 
wide  at  the  entrance  and  twenty  feet  deep,  but  only 
five  feet  high  at  the  inner  end.  There  is  a  still  smaller 
extension  of  the  cave  back  into  the  rocks,  which  is 
used  by  the  natives  as  a  cache,  the  entrance  being 
closed  by  loose  stones. 

Above  the  mouth  of  the  cave  the  cliff  rises  vertically 
for  hundreds  of  feet,  and  on  either  side  a  projecting 

Discovery  of  the  **Saviksue" 


buttress  shields  the 
mouth  of  the  cave  com- 
pletely from  the  wind. 
This  cave  is  a  well- 
known  and  favourite 
half-way  house  of  the 
natives  in  their  travels 
along  this  coast,  and  at 
its  inner  end  we  found 
a  quantity  of  dried 
grass  forming  a  bed, 
and  a  well-blackened 
fireplace  with  remains 
of  seals  and  birds. 

After  a  "grand 
gorge,"  as  Lee  ex- 
pressed it,  of  venison 
steaks,  liver  and  bacon, 
seal  meat,  pea  soup, 
tea,  and  corn  bread,  we 
stretched  ourselves  on 
the  rocks  in  this  shel- 
ter and  slept  soundly. 
While  we  slept,  the  sun 
shone  in  warmly,  but 
by  the  time  we  had 
finished  breakfast  and 
were  ready  to  start,  our 
usual  companion,  bad 
weather,  was  on  hand 
to  accompany  us,  and 
we  left  the  cave  in  a 
driving  snow -squall. 
The  blue-green  wall  of 
the  great  Petowik 
Glacier,  projecting  far 

HO        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

out  from  the  shore,  compelled  us  to  make  a  long  de- 
tour seaward,  and  we  soon  encountered,  in  the  shape 
of  a  broad  lead,  or  lane,  of  water,  a  premonition  of  the 
obstacles  that  lay  before  us. 

Some  time  was  spent  in  discovering  a  practicable 
crossing,  and  beyond  this  were  many  other  leads  and 
a  dreary  expanse  of  deeply  slush-covered  and  in  places 
rotten  ice.  My  driver  proceeded  with  the  greatest 
reluctance,  and  at  last  confessed  to  his  fear  of  the  ice, 
which,  he  said,  was  very  thin,  and  at  the  least  wind 
would  be  broken  up  and  floated  out  into  the  North 
Water,  the  ominous  blue-black  loom  of  which  was  close 
at  hand,  we  now  being  several  miles  off  the  face  of 
the  glacier.  As  it  was  now,  however,  just  as  far  to 
retreat  as  to  advance,  I  flattered  him  a  little,  telling 
him  he  was  too  big  and  too  brave  a  man  to  turn  back, 
and  insisted  on  proceeding,  which  we  did. 

The  slush  and  leads  continued,  and  the  wet  and 
heavy  travelling,  combined  with  the  haunting  fear  that 
we  might  strike  an  impassable  lead,  rendered  the  hours 
extremely  trying  to  me.  At  last  we  were  able  to  head 
in  towards  the  shore  south  of  the  glacier,  and  ferrying 
across  two  broad  leads  on  cakes  of  ice,  we  finally 
reached  Cape  Dudley  Digges.  In  crossing  the  last 
lead,  the  odometer  caught  in  the  ice  and  was  twisted 
out  of  shape. 

From  the  cape,  a  broad  outward-curving  lead 
stretched  clear  across  the  unnamed  bay  which  I  will 
call  Parker  Snow  Bay,  between  the  Cape  and  Parker 
Snow  Point,  and  drove  us  nearly  out  to  Conical  Rock, 
into  an  interminable  network  of  leads  caused  by  the 
strong-  tidal  action  between  the  rock  and  the  shore. 

At  length  we  Qrained  the  shore  ice  a  few  miles  south 
of  Conical  Rock,  and  from  here  on  were  troubled  by 
no  more  leads.  Deep  snow,  however,  in  front  of  each 
of  the  numerous  glaciers  which  pour  their  icy  currents 

Discovery  of  the  "Saviksue"  141 

through  every  break  in  the  Crimson  CHffs,  retarded 
our  progress,  and  at  last,  thoroughly  tired  and  sleepy 
with  the  nervous  tension  of  the  day,  I  directed  Talla- 
koteah  when  about  fifteen  miles  from  Cape  York  to  run 
the  sledofe  ashore  beside  a  bier  rock  for  a  few  hours' 
rest.  We  had  been  thirteen  and  a  half  hours  on  the 
march.  Along  the  entire  shore  from  Petowik  to  where 
we  stopped,  the  cliffs  were  alive  with  countless  millions 
of  little  auks,  and  numerous  looms,  kittiwake  gulls, 


burgfomasters  and  Greenland  falcons.  One  re-entrant 
angle  in  the  cliffs  was  colonised  on  one  side  by  looms, 
and  on  the  other  by  kittiwake  gulls  and  little  auks,  the 
former  occupying  the  lower  floor.  Perched  on  every 
available  rock  and  ledge,  alight  like  swarms  of  insects 
or  clouds  of  dust  on  the  snow,  the  number  of  atoms 
of  life  was  inconceivable.  Again  under  way,  with 
fairly  decent  going  except  in  front  of  the  glaciers,  we 
reached  the  Cape  York  tupiks,  four  in  number,  at  three 

142        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

in  the  morning.  During  the  entire  journey  from  the 
cave  to  Cape  York,  we  obtained  only  occasional 
ghmpses  of  the  summits  of  the  chffs  through  the  fog 
and  driving  snow-squaUs.  I  had  told  Tallakoteah 
before  reaching  Cape  York  that  I  wished  to  sleep  in 
a  tupik  which  was  clean,  roomy,  and  not  infested  with 
children,  so  I  was  immediately  shown  to  the  habita- 
tion of  Tahweenyah,  the  oldest  and  most  influential 
man  of  the  village.  Here  after  a  supper  of  tea,  bread, 
and  boiled  seal  meat,  Lee  and  myself  turned  in  for  a 


comfortable  sleep,  while  the  wind  whistled  and  the 
snow  beat  against  our  skin  shelter  on  a  low  rock  pomt 
of  this  wild  Arctic  promontory,  facing  southward 
across  the  icy,  bear-haunted  wastes  of  Melville  Bay. 
At  last  we  had  reached  "  Imnaminomen"  (Cape 
York)  after  ten  days  of  struggle  with  the  difficulties  of 
Arctic-spring  travelling,  but  even  now  the  outlook 
was  not  encouraging  for  a  termination  of  our  troubles, 
and  there  was  every  probability  that  we  might  be 
storm-bound  here  for  several  days. 

Three  days  later,  the  storm  had  abated  sufficiently 

Discovery  of  the  "  Saviksue  "  143 

for  us  to  start,  and  having  left  in  charge  of  Tahweenyah 
everything  that  we  would  not  absolutely  need  for  a 
three  days'  trip,  and  with  all  sixteen  of  our  dogs 
attached  to  Tallakoteah's  sledge,  we  entered  upon  the 
last  stage  of  our  journey. 

Skirting  along  the  shore,  we  passed  round  the  south- 
east point  of  Cape  York  with  its  numerous  deserted 
igloos,  to  the  village  beside  the  glacier  where  the 
Falcon  stopped  last  summer.  From  this  point  our 
course  lay  straight  across  the  bay  to  the  islands  on 


the  eastern  side,  where  there  were  said  to  be  four 
igloos,  and  where  we  thought  to  find  my  old  acquaint- 
ance "  little "  Kessuh,  the  same  youth  that  I  had 
expected  would  be  my  guide  two  years  ago.  The 
snow  was  very  deep,  and  Lee  and  myself  were  com- 
pelled to  take  turns  in  snow-shoeing  ahead  of  the 
dogs.  The  entire  circuit  of  this  bay,  which  is  certainly 
laro^e  enouo-h  to  deserve  a  name  on  the  charts,  from 
the  Eskimo  village  which  we  had  just  left,  round  to 
the  islands  ahead  of  us,  is  a  glacier  face  broken  by 
a    few    nunataks.      Arrived    at    the    island  igloos,  we 

144        Northward  over  the  *' Great  Ice" 

found  them  deserted,  but  a  fresh  sledo^e  track  led  from 
them  round  the  end  of  the  island,  and  following  this 
we  soon  came  to  a  cave  in  the  rocks,  and  in  the  cave 
was  our  little  friend  fast  asleep  upon  a  luxurious  bed 
of  bearskins  with  a  deerskin  thrown  over  him. 

The  habitation  of  this  young  bachelor  was  so 
unique  that  it  merits  some  description.  Just  out- 
side the  cave  was  his  sledge,  just  within  the  entrance 


his  dogfs  were  fastened,  then  came  his  bed  with  his 
gun  leaning  against  the  rocks  at  his  head.  A  niche 
in  the  rocks  some  four  feet  above  the  floor  formed 
his  fireplace,  and  in  the  inner  extension  of  the  cave 
behind  his  head  were  the  carcasses  of  four  or  five 
seals,  more  bearskins,  some  bear  meat,  several  birds, 
his  harpoon,  lines,  and  other  belongings.  As  he 
said  to  me,  he  had  no  koona  (wife)  to  make  him  a 
tupik,   so  he  was  obliged  to  find  a  ready-made  one. 

Discovery  of  the  "Saviksue"  145 

He  jumped  at  the  opportunity  of  accompanying  us, 
and  in  a  few  moments  was  dressed  and  had  his  dogs 
fastened  to  his  sledge.  Six  of  my  dogs  were  added 
to  his  four.  Lee  crot  on  the  sledo^e  with  him,  and 
with  this  arrangement  of  loads,  fresh  dogs,  and  hard 
snow  we  left  the  cave  at  a  gallop,  which  speed  was 
kept  up  past  the  outer  island  and  eastward  along  the 
shore  till  after  midnight,  when  we  reached  the  west- 
ern point  of  the  double-armed  bay,  running  into  the 
land  north  of  Bushnan  Island.  There  is  another 
island,  not  shown  on  the  charts,  lying  across  the  mouth 
of  this  bay  inside  of  Bushnan,  and  passing  inside  of 
this  we  headed  for  the  eastern  arm  of  the  bay. 

By  this  time,  under  the  influence  of  the  clear  cold 
nieht,  the  snow  had  become  firm  enouofh  so  that  we 
were  able  to  discard  the  ski  from  the  runners,  and 
this,  with  the  numerous  seals  on  the  ice,  kept  the  dogs 
in  a  constant  state  of  excitement  and  at  their  utmost 
speed.  Kessuh  succeeded  in  shooting  one  seal,  which 
gave  the  dogs  a  good  feed  and  provided  for  our 

At  4:15  in  the  morning,  we  had  reached  the  head 
of  the  bay,  the  dogs  were  fast  to  the  ice-foot,  and 
Tallakoteah  and  myself  were  climbing  over  it  in  search 
of  the  "  Iron  Mountain." 

After  passing  some  five  hundred  yards  up  a  narrow 
valley,  Tallakoteah  began  looking  about  until  a  bit  of 
blue  trap-rock,  projecting  above  the  snow,  caught  his 
eye.  Kicking  aside  the  snow,  he  exposed  more  pieces, 
saying  this  was  a  pile  of  the  stones  used  in  pounding 
fragments  from  the  "iron  mountain."  He  then  indic- 
ated a  spot  four  or  five  feet  distant  as  the  location 
of  the  long-sought  object.  Returning  to  the  sledge 
for  the  saw-knife,  he  began  excavating  the  snow,  and 
at  last,  after  digging  a  pit  some  three  feet  deep  and 
five  feet  in  diameter,   just  at  5:30  Sunday  morning, 

VOL.  11. — 10 

146       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

May  2^,  1894,  the  brown  mass,  rudely  awakened  from, 
its  winter's  sleep,  found  for  the  first  time  in  its  cycles 
of  existence  the  eyes  of  a  white  man  gazing  upon  it. 

I  kept  Tallakoteah  at  work  enlarging  the  pit  and 
excavatina  about  the  meteorite  until  Lee  and  Kessuh 
arrived,  when  he  was  relieved  by  the  latter.  In  addi- 
tion to  the  thick  blanket  of  snow,  the  meteorite  was 
completely  covered  with  a  half-inch-thick  coating  of 
ice.  The  work  of  excavation  satisfactorily  completed, 
I  spent  the  remainder  of  the  perfect,  cloudless  day  of 


Sunday,  until  four  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  in  measur- 
ing, sketching,  and  photographing  the  heavenly  visitor 
and  taking  angles  for  a  rough  map  of  the  vicinity,  and 
then  descended  to  the  sledge  for  a  little  needed  sleep. 
Tallakoteah  tells  me  that  the  Innuits  call  the  meteor- 
ite a  woman  in  a  sitting  position,  and  says  it  used  to 
be  much  laro-er  and  higher  than  it  is  now.  but  that  his 
people  have  gradually  worn  it  down,  and  that  years 
ago  natives  from  Peterahwik  broke  off  the  head  and 
carried  it  away.  He  also  voluntarily  told  how  the  an- 
cient knives  of  his  people  used  to  be  made,  namely,  by 

Discovery  of  the  "  Saviksue  "  147 

inserting  several  small  flattened  pieces  of  the  metal 
in  a  bone  or  ivory  back,  and  then  with  a  piece  of  trap 
lying  near,  showed  me  how  the  flakes  of  iron  were 
detached.  Nothing  could  be  more  interesting  than 
his  re-enacting  of  this  ancient  practice. 

I  scratched  a  rough  "  P  "  on  the  surface  of  the 
metal,  as  an  indisputable  proof  of  my  having  found  the 
meteorite,  in  case  I  should  not  be  able,  later  on,  to  reach 
it  with  my  ship  ;  and  built  a  small  cairn  upon  the  top 


of  a  big  gneissose  boulder,  112  yards  distant,  in  which 
I  placed  a  brief  record  : 

"  Sunday,  May  27,  1894. 

"  This  record  is  deposited  to  show  that  on  the  above 
date  R.  E.  Peary,  U.  S.  Navy,  and  Hugh  J.  Lee  of  the 
North-Greenland  Expedition  of  1893-94,  with  Talla- 
koteah,  an  Eskimo  guide,  discovered  the  famous  '  Iron 
Mountain,'  first  mentioned  by  Capt.  Ross,  and  have 
carefully  examined  the  same. 

[Signed]     "  R.  E.  Peary,  U.S.N., 

' '  ComLfg  Expedition. " 

148        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

'Then,  after  a  last  look  at  the  celestial  straggler,  I 
descended  to  the  sledge  where  Lee  had  already  pre- 
ceded me,  and  stretching  myself  upon  it  immediately 
fell  asleep.  Two  hours  later,  I  awoke  to  find  the 
entire  sky  overcast  and  a  chill  wind  blowing  up  the 
bay.  The  weather  demon  had  given  us  just  one 
perfect  day  in  which  to  learn  the  secret  of  the  "  Iron 
Mountain,"  and  was  now  resuming  his  baleful  sway. 


Supper,  breakfast,  or  dinner,  just  as  one  chooses  to 
call  it,  over,  the  dogs  were  hitched  up  and  we  started 
to  locate  the  second  and  largest  mass,  which  my  guide 
told  me  was  on  the  island  at  the  entrance  to  the  bay. 
Passing  at  a  good  pace  down  the  bay,  we  soon  reached 
the  site  of  this  second  meteorite,  some  seven  miles 
distant  on  the  eastern  end  of  the  island.      Its  loca- 

Discovery  of  the  "  Saviksue  "  149 

tion  was  pointed  out  to  me,  but  the  depth  of  snow 
covering  the  entire  island  was  so  great  that  I  made 
no  attempt  to  dig  for  it,  satisfied  to  know  where  it 
was.  At  midnight  we  started  on  our  return,  and 
ten  days  later,  on  the  6th  of  June,  were  back  at  the 
lodge.  This  return  journey  was  one  of  invaluable 
experience  in  spring  sledging  in  the  Arctic,  Part  of 
the  time  we  were  storm-bound,  buried  in  drifts  at  the 
base  of  the  wild  shore  cliffs.  Then  we  were  struggling 
at  a  snail's  pace  through  deep  slush,  intersected  by 
hidden  cracks  and  wide  leads  of  open  water.  The 
disintegration  of  the  sea  ice  had  proceeded  so  rapidly 
since  our  downward  trip  that  we  were  repeatedly  com- 
pelled to  take  to  the  shore,  climb  the  shore  bluffs, 
sometimes  carrying  sledges  and  outfit  on  our  backs, 
and  make  long  detours  overland. 

In  one  place,  we  were  obliged  to  scale  a  nearly 
vertical  curtain-like  drift,  the  crest  of  which  rose  1050 
feet  above  sea-level. 

Up  this  we  carried  the  sledge  loads  on  our  backs, 
along  zigzag  steps  cut  in  its  face,  then  pushed  and 
pulled  the  sledges  and  dogs  after. 

Open  water  at  Cape  Parry  necessitated  our  going 
overland  to  Netiulumi  from  Booth  Sound,  and  our 
course  lay  up  a  large  glacier  right  in  the  teeth  of  a 
gale.  The  lee  of  the  glacier  face  offered  a  grateful 
temporary  shelter,  and  then  we  commenced  the  ascent 
of  the  lateral  gorge  along  the  south  side  of  the  glacier. 

Confined  in  this  gorge,  the  wind  repeatedly  nearly 
swept  us  from  our  feet,  and  when  at  last  we  scaled  the 
glacier  side  to  its  surface,  it  was  in  much  the  same  way 
that  flies  crawl  up  a  wall.  The  surface  of  this  glacier 
rises  with  a  gradual  slope  straight  away  to  the  ice-cap 
domes  overlooking  Barden  Bay,  3362  feet  above  sea- 

It  was  four  in  the  afternoon  when  we  reached  the 

150        Northward  over  the  ''Great  Ice" 

summit  of  one  of  these  domes,  and  looked  down  into 
the  bay  at  our  feet,  and  out  over  the  outer  expanse  of 
Whale  Sound  and  its  triple  islands. 

The  direct  descent  from  where  we  stood  to  the 
lower  portion  of  the  Tyndall  Glacier  was  a  nearly  ver- 
tical ice-slope,  surcharged  upon  a  vertical  cliff,  and  we 
were  forced  to  make  a  detour  southward  to  the  more 


practicable  slopes  at  the  glacier  head.  After  trav- 
elling some  few  miles  in  this  direction,  we  seated  our- 
selves upon  the  sledges  for  one  of  the  grandest  and 
most  exhilaratincr  of  toboo-oran  slides. 

The  start  was  a  giant  ice-dome,  more  than  three 
thousand  feet  above  the  sea ;  the  toboggan  slide,  the 
serpentine  icy  slope  of  the  great  Tyndall  Glacier  ; 
the  toboggan,  one  of  the  clippers  of  the  new  fleet  of 

Discovery  of  the  "Saviksue"  151 

sledges,  built  since  the  advent  of  the  Peary  expedi- 
tions, a  sledge  eight  feet  long,  twenty  inches  wide, 
seven  inches  high,  shod  with  tusks  of  the  walrus,  and 
fastened  with  thono^s  of  the  seal  and  walrus  ;  the  to- 
boggan  steerer,  fur-clad  Tallakoteah,  with  his  matted 
black  hair  flying  back  from  his  face. 

Seated,  both  of  us,  astride  the  sledge,  with  heels 
pressed  into  the  snow,  almost  an  instant  after  we 
started,  the  dogs  were  trailing  in  a  confused  mass  be- 
hind the  sledge,  the  ablest  ones  at  full  gallop  to  keep 
up  with  the  sledge,  the  others  dragged  by  their  traces, 
whirling  and  tumbling  over  and  over,  in  a  cloud  of 
flying  snow. 

Fans  of  blinding  snow  flew  backward  from  our  vi- 
brating feet,  and  so,  mile  after  mile,  we  dashed  down  our 
Cyclopean  toboggan  chute,  the  great  red-brown  rock 
buttresses  enclosing  it,  rich  and  warm  with  the  glowing 
sunlight,  whirling  past  us  with  dizzying  rapidity. 

The  bay  ice  below  rose  rapidly  to  meet  us,  two  or 
three  bergs  imprisoned  in  it  grew  as  grows  the  loco- 
motive of  the  lightning  express  when  thundering 
straight  at  one  at  a  speed  of  sixty  miles  per  hour, 
the  islands  sank  to  the  horizon,  the  ice-domes  in  our 
rear  disappeared  behind  the  slope  of  the  glacier,  and 
at  last,  veering  sharply  to  the  left  into  the  snow-filled 
gorge  beside  the  glacier,  to  avoid  the  crevasses  in  its 
lower  portion,  we  reached  the  level  of  the  bay,  breath- 
less, with  clothing  snow-filled,  and  our  dogs  animated 
snow-balls.  Half  an  hour  later,  we  were  at  Netiu- 
lumi,  the  centre  of  an  admiring  group  of  natives,  and 
my  dusky  driver  was  restored  again  to  the  arms  of 
his  anxious  Ahwahtingwah. 

June  6th  we  were  back  at  the  lodge.  From  this 
time  till  the  last  of  July,  the  days  passed,  broken  by 
occasional  hunting  trips,  in  looking  for  the  arrival  of 
the  ship. 

152       Northward  over  the  ''Great  Ice" 

On  July  31st,  about  six  p.m.,  Mrs.  Peary,  while 
sweeping  the  bay  with  the  binoculars,  saw  two 
sledges  approaching,  the  drivers'  whips  playing  upon 
the  dogs  constantly,  urging  them  to  their  utmost 
speed.  We  at  once  surmised  that  they  were  bring- 
ing us  news  of  the  arrival  of  the  ship  off  Karnah, 
twenty  miles  distant,  beyond  which  the  winter's  ice 


still  remained  intact.  At  nine  p.m.  they  arrived,  but 
long  before  they  reached  us  we  heard  their  shouts  of 
''Oomiaksoah  !  oomiaksoah  /"  (  "  A  ship  !  a  ship  !  "  ) 
They  could  give  us  very  little  information,  however, 
as  they  had  no  letter  and  did  not  know  the  names  of 
anyone  on  board  except  "  Larry,"  the  steward. 

I  decided  to  send  Entrikin  off  at  once  to  ascertain 
the  state  of  affairs  and  bring  back  the  mail.     Accord- 

Discovery  of  the  *'Saviksue"  153 

ingly  he  left  the  lodge  about  midnight,  with  instruc- 
tions to  return  as  quickly  as  possible.  At  12:30  a.m. 
on  August  2d  he  returned,  accompanied  by  Messrs. 
H.  G.  Bryant,  the  commander  of  the  Auxiliary  Expe- 
dition, and  Emil  Diebitsch,  Mrs.  Peary's  brother.  They 
told  us  that  the  Falcon  had  arrived  in  Murchison  Sound 
on  July  25th,  when  farther  progress  was  checked  by  the 
ice.  Bryant  and  Diebitsch  then  tried  to  reach  Anni- 
versary Lodge  by  way  of  McCormick  Bay  and  Tooktoo 
Valley  on  a  dog  sledge,  piloted  by  old  Myuh,  one  of  the 
giants  of  the  tribe,  but  owing  to  leads  in  the  ice  too 
wide  to  be  crossed,  they  were  compelled  to  give  up 
the  attempt.  Then  the  ice  gradually  opened  enough 
to  allow  the  Falcon  to  get  within  about  ten  miles  of 
Karnah.  The  natives  from  this  settlement  at  once 
visited  the  ship,  and  Mr.  Bryant  tried  to  make  two 
of  the  men  understand  that  they  should  return  to  the 
settlement,  get  their  dogs  and  sledges,  bring  them  to 
the  ship,  and  take  him  to  Peary's  igloo.  This  they 
agreed  to  do,  but  apparently  misunderstood  him,  for 
instead  of  returning  to  the  ship  they  proceeded  di- 
rectly to  the  lodge,  while  Mr.  Bryant  was  patiently 
awaiting  their  return.  On  board  >^^  Falcon  ^\\\\  Mr. 
Bryant  was  a  party  of  six  scientific  gentlemen  :  Prof. 
T.  C.  Chamberlin,  Prof.  Wm.  Libbey,  Jr.,  Emil  Die- 
bitsch, H.  L.  Bridgman,  Dr.  H.  E.  Wetherell,  and 
Dr.  Axel  Ohlin. 

Bryant  was  anxious  to  get  away  to  Ellesmere  Land 
as  quickly  as  possible  to  search  for  traces  of  the  young 
Swedes,  Bjorling  and  Kallstenius,  and  the  next  day  I 
went  back  with  him  to  the  Falcon. 

Snatching  a  few  hours'  sleep  on  board,  I  returned 
to  the  lodge  accompanied  by  Prof.  Chamberlin,  who 
desired  to  pursue  some  special  glacial  investigations, 
and  \}i\^FcLlcon  steamed  away  westward  for  Ellesmere 

154       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

August  20th  the  Falcon  was  able  to  force  her  way  up 
Bowdoin  Bay  to  the  lodge.  The  next  two  days  were 
spent  in  putting  coal  ashore,  and  getting  the  baggage 
and  those  going  home  on  board.  At  eleven  a.m.,  on 
August  23d,  she  steamed  out  of  Bowdoin  Bay,  leaving 
Matt  in  charge  of  the  lodge,  bound  for  Academy  Bay, 
where  I  hoped  we  would  be  able  to  get  a  number  of 
deer,  the  skins  to  be  utilised  in  the  outfit  of  my  Inland- 

Head  of  Inglefield  Gulf. 

Ice  party  next  spring,  and  the  meat  turned  over  to  the 
party  on  the  Falcon,  as  their  fresh-meat  supply  had 
been  exhausted.  We  met  with  little  success  in  Acad- 
emy Bay,  and  the  next  two  days  were  spent  in  tra- 
versing new  country  in  the  hope  of  finding  the  deer, 
but  not  until  the  last  day  did  we  come  upon  their 
tracks,  and  found  they  were  too  far  inland  to  make  it 
desirable  to  hunt  them  now. 

We  therefore  returned  to  the  lodo^e  on  the  26th, 

Discovery  of  the  "Saviksue" 


where  I  exchanged  Lee  for  Matt,  and  then  th.^  Falcoji 
steamed  south  with  everyone  else  on  board.  David- 
son and  Carr  were  invaHded,  the  former  with  a  frosted 
heel,  the  latter  with  a  weak  back  ;  the  other  members 
of  my  party  had  discovered  that  Arctic  work  was  not 
entirely  the  picnic  they  had  imagined,  and  wisely  re- 
garding discretion  as  the  better  part  of  valour,  had  de- 
cided to  return  home;  Lee  and  Henson  alone  possessed 
the  grit  and  loyalty  to  remain.  My  intention  was  to 
proceed  in  the  Falcon  to  the  site  of  the  meteorites, 
endeavour  to  embark  the  smaller  and  send  it  home, 
then  return  from  Cape  York  in  my  whale-boat.  Un- 
fortunately the  heavy  winter  ice  had  not  yet  moved 
out  of  Melville  Bay,  and  the  ship  was  unable  to  get 
within  twenty-five  miles  of  the  meteorites.  I  then 
had  Captain  Bartlett  take  me  back  as  far  as  Petowik 






Anniversary  Lodge,  May  i,  1894. 

To  R.  E.  Peary,  U.S.N. 

Si?^: — I  have  the  honour 
to  submit  the  following  re- 
port of  my  sledge  journey 
to  Melville  Bay  : 

As  soon  after  my  re- 
turn from  the  ice-cap  as 
my  physical  condition  per- 
mitted it,  I  decided  to 
make  a  sledge  journey  to 
the  Eskimo  settlement  at 
Cape  York,  and,  if  the 
conditions  were  favourable,  proceed  eastward  along 
the  coast  to  get,  if  possible,  a  close  view  of  the  un- 
explored shores  of  Melville  Bay.  Certain  circum- 
stances, however,  seemed  to  be  rather  against  the 
success  of  this  project.  All  the  pemmican  had 
been  taken  on  the  ice-cap,  so  I  would  have  to  dis- 
pense with  this  valuable  article  of  diet  for  a  sledge 

'  The  contents  of  this  chapter  have  already  been  published,  Astriip  having 
disposed  of  his  paper  immediately  after  his  return  home  in  1894. 

Recognising,  however,  that  his  apparent  discourtesy  was  only  the  natural  re- 
sult of  youthful  eagerness  to  see  himself  in  print,  I  am  only  too  glad  to  give  his 
work  what  I  hope  will  be  a  more  permanent  form  and  wide-spread  circulation 
than  it  would  be  likely  to  obtain  in  the  form  in  which  he  himself  published  it. 


i6o        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

traveller  and  his  dogs.  In  other  words,  for  my 
meat  supply  I  would  have  to  rely  entirely  on  the 
game  I  might  find  on  my  way.  It  therefore  became 
essential  for  me  to  get  a  good  native  hunter  for  my 
companion,  and  this  I  found  in  my  favourite  native 
friend,  Koolootingwah.  Of  instruments,  I  had  only  a 
railroad  compass  and  a  thermometer  ;  besides  this,  a 
pocket  compass,  watch,  a  pair  of  field-glasses,  snow- 
goggles,  charts,  tables,  etc.  The  provisions  I  took 
with  me  were  figured  to  last  me  four  weeks,  with  ad- 
ditional fresh  meat  obtained  on  the  road,  and  con- 
sisted of  25  lbs.  army  bread,  15  lbs.  bacon,  18  tablets 
pea  soup,  10  lbs.  sugar,  and  3  lbs.  tea.  Besides  this, 
the  outfit  consisted  of  two  Winchester  carbines,  50 
cartridges,  cooking-gear,  light  sleeping-gear,  hatchet, 
extra  kamiks,  etc.  We  had  a  new  sledge  built  on 
the  native  pattern,  and  eight  good  dogs. 

On  the  morning  of  April  6th  everything  was  ready 
for  a  start,  and  at  9:30  we  got  off,  although  the  weather 
was  somewhat  doubtful,  with  a  cloudy  sky,  and  the 
thermometer  three  above  zero.  The  bay  was  full  of 
heavy  white  fog  banks,  and  a  sharp  north-east  wind 
swept  down  over  the  naked  hills  behind  the  head- 
quarters. As  we  travelled  along,  the  weather  im- 
proved, and  the  going  being  excellent  we  reached  the 
settlement  of  Oloshynnia  at  the  south-west  corner  of 
Herbert  Island  before  midnight.  We  found  but  very 
few  natives  here,  but  nevertheless  got  a  kind  recep- 
tion. The  following  morning,  a  mild  but  foggy  one 
(+8°  F.),  we  started  for  Netchilumi,  where  we  arrived 
after  a  short  day's  journey.  Here  we  remained  until 
the  morning  of  the  9th  on  account  of  stormy  and 
thick  weather,  when  we  finally  took  leave  of  the  place, 
accompanied  by  Telokoteah  and  wife,  who  also  were 
bound  for  Cape  York.  They  had  seven  fine  dogs, 
and  kept  up  with  us  all  the  way  to  their  destination. 

Reconnaissance  of  Melville  Bay  i6i 

Instead  of  rounding  Cape  Parry,  a  route  which  was 
at  this  time  impracticable  on  account  of  open  water, 
we  took  refuge  on  the  land  in  a  little  cove,  a  few  miles 
west  of  Barden  Bay,  where  the  bed  of  a  rivulet,  higher 
up  gradually  forming  a  deep  gorge,  indicated  a  con- 
tinuous mountain  pass  extending  across  to  Booth 
Sound.  Up  through  this  gorge  we  laid  our  course 
and  passed  its  highest  part  in  an  altitude  of  eight 
hundred  to  one  thousand  feet. 

Although  the  weather  was  clear  and  beautiful  when 
we  left  Netchilumi,  we  here  entered  a  region  of  biting- 
winds  and  dense  fog,  while  on  the  other  side  of  the 
divide  we  soon  again  descended  into  a  more  peaceful 
atmosphere.  This  condition  of  the  atmosphere  over 
the  snow-capped  and  mountainous  land  tongue  which 
we  had  just  passed  was  no  doubt  caused  by  the  close 
proximity  of  open  water,  which  after  the  great  equi- 
noctial storms  last  month  now  extended  from  the 
south  side  of  Barden  Bay  all  around  Cape  Parry,  and 
into  Wolstenholm  Sound  as  far  as  the  western  end  of 
Saunders  Island.  In  many  places  along  the  shore  it 
left  us  only  a  narrow  border  of  ice,  often  but  a  few 
feet  in  width,  to  travel  upon,  while  in  other  places  the 
ice  was  entirely  gone,  making  it  necessary  for  us  to 
travel  upon  the  land,  which  was  here  fortunately  flat 
and  smooth. 

In  the  afternoon  we  passed  the  place  where  Dr. 
Hayes  and  his  comrades  of  the  Kane  Expedition 
spent  a  few  months  of  misery,  after  being  obliged 
to  give  up  their  planned  boat  journey  through  Mel- 
ville Bay.  The  place,  marked  by  a  few  ruins  of  a 
stone  hut,  had  a  very  desolate  look,  increased,  perhaps, 
by  the  memory  of  the  sad  story  of  the  men  who  once 
struggled  for  life  over  these  shores.  A  few  miles 
past  this  spot,  we  found  the  snow-covered  ground 
near  the  beach  literally  covered  with  traces  of  deer. 

VOL.  II. — II 

i62       Northward  over  the  **  Great  Ice" 

We  stopped  for  a  short  time  while  the  two  natives, 
who  were  very  anxious  to  try  their  luck,  set  out  over 
a  little  hill  near  by,  each  supplied  with  a  Winchester 
rifle.  I  soon  after  heard  a  shot,  and,  on  one  of  the 
natives  signal,  Telokoteah's  wife  and  I  drove  the  two 
dog  teams  up  to  the  place,  where  a  few  minutes  after 
the  meat  and  the  skin  of  a  small  deer,  shot  by  Koo- 
lootingwah,  were  put  on  the  sledges.  We  now  con- 
tinued our  journey  along  the  shore  on  the  north  side 
of  Wolstenholm  Sound  until  6:30  p.m.,  when  we 
camped  after  thirteen  hours'  steady  travelling.  A 
small  snow  house  was  built  in  a  suitable  snow-drift, 
and  the  night  spent  in  perfect  comfort. 

The  following  morning  we  started  in  the  most 
beautiful  weather  with  the  temperature  of  —1°  F.  only. 
When  passing  the  eastern  end  of  Saunders  Island  we 
discovered  fresh  tracks  of  three  bears,  the  mother  and 
two  young  ones.  The  natives  and  our  dogs  became 
quite  excited,  so  we  had  a  pretty  lively  time  for  four 
or  five  hours,  sliding  over  the  unbroken  ice-field  with 
unusual  high  speed.  Finally,  when  no  signs  of  the 
bears  themselves  could  be  seen,  but  only  ravens  and 
foxes,  the  bears'  never-failing  companions,  the  hunt 
was  given  up,  and  the  course  regained.  The  map 
appeared  everywhere  to  be  more  or  less  wrong,  but 
I  did  not  attempt  to  correct  it,  as  I  had  no  time  to 
spare.  At  9  p.m.  we  passed  Cape  Athol,  where  the 
ice  commenced  to  be  free  of  snow.  Koolootingwah 
told  me  that  the  natives,  when  obliged  on  account  of 
open  water,  cross  overland  from  Nexosimy,  on  the 
south  side  of  Wolstenholm  Sound,  to  Cape  York, 
sleeping  once  on  the  way.  At  midnight  we  stopped 
at  a  place  called  Iglooduhungny,  after  sixteen  hours 
of  continued  travelling,  during  which  the  dogs  had 
been  on  a  trot  or  a  run  most  of  the  time.  We  had 
expected  to  find  natives  at  the  place,  but  could  only 

Reconnaissance  of  Melville  Bay  163 

discover  a  deserted  snow  igloo.  We  were  soon,  how- 
ever, comfortably  quartered.  Next  day  we  reached 
Cape  York.  On  the  way  we  passed  Petowik  Glacier, 
which  does  not  appear  to  be  a  very  active  one.  This 
was  also  confirmed  by  Koolootingwah,  who  said  that 
it  produced  but  few  icebergs.  A  couple  of  miles  to 
the  westward  of  the  glacier,  he  also  pointed  out  to  me 
one  of  the  places  where  the  natives  find  material  for 
the  stone  lamps  and  cooking  pots.  During  the  day 
we  passed  many  seals  sleeping  on  the  ice  in  the  warm 
sun  rays.  The  travelling  on  the  ice  was  excellent 
most  of  the  way,  but  the  endurance  of  the  Eskimo  dog 
will  nevertheless  remain  a  mystery  to  me  forever. 
It  was  midnight  before  we  reached  Cape  York,  or,  as 
it  is  called  by  the  natives,  Imnonginumi.  The  temperat- 
ure was  there  as  low  as  —21°  F.,  probably  caused  by 
the  extensive  glaciers  situated  everywhere  to  the 
north  and  north-eastwards  of  the  colony.  I  could 
just  discover  one  star  in  the  sky  at  midnight,  which 
reminded  me  agreeably  of  the  near  approach  of  con- 
tinuous sunlight.  The  natives  of  the  place  received 
us  with  their  customary  kindness,  and  were  all  eager 
to  assist  us  in  spite  of  the  night's  broken  sleep. 

The  1 2th,  13th,  and  14th  of  April,  we  remained  at 
Cape  York,  partly  to  give  our  dogs  a  rest,  partly  kept 
there  by  stormy  weather.  During  this  stay  I  spent 
my  time  as  best  I  could,  conversing  with  the  natives 
of  the  place,  and  attending  to  their  home  concerts, 
where  nearly  the  whole  colony,  with  the  exception  of 
the  children,  who  were  not  admitted,  were  present,  to 
listen  to  the  very  strange  and,  according  to  my  opin- 
ion, far  from  attractive  song-  of  the  Ano^ekok. 

On  the  15th,  in  the  morning  at  six  o'clock,  we 
finally  set  out  for  the  islands  in  Melville  Bay,  from 
where  I  hoped  to  get  a  good  view  of  the  coast  in  case 
it  should  be  impracticable  to  reach   this   itself.      As 

164       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

we  travelled  along  we  passed  the  two  only  settle- 
ments east  of  Cape  York,  both  situated  on  good- 
sized  islands  not  shown  on  the  map.  Bushmann 
Island  we  passed  on  the  south  side,  taking  from  there 
almost  a  due  easterly  course.  At  six  p.m.  we  camped, 
after  having  travelled  something  over  forty  miles. 
We  were  then  almost  due  south  of  a  black  and  very 
conspicuous  mountain-wall  a  little  to  the  east  of  Cape 
Melville,  and  not  over  eight  miles  from  the  nearest 
shore.  In  the  beautifully  clear  and  balmy  evening 
we  could  sight  already  the  distant  glacier  which  I  had 
anticipated  finding  on  the  north-eastern  shores  of  Mel- 
ville Bay.  In  fact,  all  the  way  from  Cape  York  and 
eastward,  as  far  as  I  then  could  see,  I  found  the  coast- 
line continually  broken  by  large  and  active  glaciers. 
The  ice  over  which  we  travelled  this  first  day  from 
Cape  York  was  very  smooth  and  quite  different  from 
what  I  had  expected.  With  the  exception  of  a  bor- 
der of  ice  about  a  mile  in  width,  the  surface  of  which 
was  composed  of  broken  and  irregular  ice-pieces, 
often  obtaining  a  height  of  from  four  to  six  feet,  all 
the  rest  of  the  way  was  perfectly  level  and  smooth. 
I  think,  however,  that  this  was  largely  due  to  Koo- 
lootingwah's  experience  in  ice  navigation,  as  we  al- 
ways seemed  to  have  plenty  of  broken  ice  on  each 
side  of  us,  but  usually  a  clear  road  ahead. 

After  a  night's  comfortable  rest  in  a  snow  io-loo,  we 
continued  our  journey  the  following  morning  at  eight 
o'clock,  in  calm  but  somewhat  hazy  weather.  At 
noon,  land  could  be  seen  indistinctly  to  the  north- 
east, but  in  the  afternoon  everything  was  again  hid- 
den in  mist.  We  camped  at  five  p.m.,  after  having 
covered  a  distance  of  something  near  thirty  miles  ;  it 
was  then  snowing  heavily.  Also  that  day  we  had 
very  level  ice,  but  the  sledge  did  not  run  quite  as 
easily  over  the  sand-like  snow-drifts  and  through  the 

Reconnaissance  of  Melville  Bay  165 

loose  snow  we  had  now  come  into.  When  we  started 
the  next  morning  we  found  that  a  few  inches  of  snow 
had  fallen  during^  the  niMit.  The  weather  was  still 
hazy,  so  no  land  could  be  sighted  during  the  early- 
part  of  the  day ;  but  at  noon,  just  as  everything 
looked  most  gloomy,  the  fog  suddenly  cleared  away, 
and  revealed  to  us  a  grand  and  impressive  scene. 
High,  dark  mountains,  gigantic  glaciers,  and  lofty 
bluish-tinted  snow-peaks,  all  illuminated  by  the  bril- 
liant rays  of  the  sun,  lay  scattered  along  the  horizon 
in  wild  disorder,  and  formed  the  attractive  picture 
of  Melville  Bay.  By  following  the  east-south-east 
course,  which  we  had  entered  the  same  morning,  we 
reached  in  the  afternoon  a  small  lonely  island  at  six 
o'clock,  where  I  decided  to  stop  over  a  day  for  sur- 
veying purposes.  The  island  proved  to  be  identical 
with  Thom  Island,  on  the  map,  and  had  in  its  centre 
a  cone-shaped  rock  formation  three  to  four  hundred 
feet  high,  which  would  afford  an  excellent  spot  for  a 
series  of  bearings  to  the  mainland. 

After  another  comfortable  niorht  in  a  snow  house,  we 
awoke  and  found  the  day  perfect  for  the  purpose  we 
had  in  view.  The  air  was  unusually  clear,  and  the 
most  distant  cliffs  could  be  seen  with  remarkable  clear- 
ness. I  got  a  good  observation  of  the  sun,  and  also 
all  desirable  bearings  to  different  points  on  the  shore. 
The  latitude  given  to  this  island  (5'n  the  map  was  75° 
40',  while  my  observation  was  nearly  the  same,  or  75° 
41'  and  44".  The  compass  variation  I  found  to  be 
88^  west.  I  also  drew  some  rough  sketches  of  the 
shore-line,  including  several  new  islands,  to  assist  my 
memory  later  on  if  necessary.  Of  the  one  hundred 
and  fifty  miles  of  coast  land  between  Cape  Melville 
and  Red  Head,  which  I  could  overlook  from  the  sum- 
mit of  the  little  island,  more  than  ninety  miles  con- 
sisted of  larofe   or   small  glaciers,   all  of  which,   with 

i66       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

very  few  exceptions,  perhaps,  I  judged  to  be  very 
active  ones,  as  well  on  account  of  their  broken  and 
irreeular  surface,  as  on  account  of  the  enormous  num- 
ber  of  icebergs  which  everywhere  were  visible  along 
the   coast. 

While  speaking  of  the  glaciers  of  Melville  Bay, 
I  will  also  mention  that  I  could  sight  to  the  south  of 
Red  Head,  the  indistinct  outline  of  an  apparently 
large  glacier,  the  southern  border  of  which  was  either 
entirely  below  the  horizon  or  too  far  distant  to  be 
seen.  There  can  be  little  doubt  that  this  glacier  ex- 
tends almost  unbroken  down  to  the  resfion  of  Devil's 
Thumb,  thus  completing  the  largest  successive  series 
of  glaciers  hitherto  found  in  Greenland. 

In  regard  to  the  coast  land  itself,  which  here  and 
there  projected  through  the  icy  crust,  nothing  of  un- 
usual interest  in  regard  to  its  greoloeical  characteristics 
could  be  discovered,  although  there  must  be  here,  as 
everywhere  in  North  Greenland,  an  open  and  product- 
ive field  for  scientific  investigation.  The  trap  forma- 
tion, with  its  gloomy  colour  in  sharp  contrast  with  the 
white  snow-domes,  appeared  to  be  of  frequent  occur- 
rence, while  the  coast  in  general  was  as  usual  of  the 
archaean  structure.  The  steep  bluffs  of  the  coast  land 
nearest  to  the  sea  had  a  regular  height  of  a  couple  of 
thousand  feet,  while  the  land  in  the  background,  wher- 
ever there  was  any,  rose  up  to  a  considerably  higher 
elevation.  Thus  the  dome  of  Cape  Walker  had  pro- 
bably an  altitude  of  over  three  thousand  feet,  while  a 
lofty  snow-covered  dome,  at  least  fifteen  miles  back 
from  the  coast-line,  had  the  appearance  of  being  not 
far  from  five  thousand  feet  high.  At  Cape  Melville 
there  was  quite  an  area  of  low  land  running  out  in  a 
tongue  to  the  southward,  and  in  the  distance  looking 
very  much  as  if  it  consisted  of  several  islands,  a  con- 
jecture  which  was    denied   by    Koolootingwah.      He 

Reconnaissance  of  Melville  Bay  167 

afterwards  made  me  a  sketch  of  that  vicinity,  which  I 
have  made  use  of  while  outlining  this  cape.  This  low 
land,  which  I  only  saw  in  the  distance,  was  apparently 
composed  of  crystalline  rocks  (granite  gneiss),  as 
were  all  the  lower  islands  which  I  had  observed  to  the 
south.  When  I  was  through  with  my  observations 
on  the  island,  I  built  a  small  cairn  on  the  summit,  and 
placed  in  its  centre  a  tin  can  containing  a  few  notes 
regarding  my  journey. 

While  I  was  thus  occupied  ashore,  Koolootingwah 
was  out  seal-hunting,  as  we  needed  some  meat,  both 
for  ourselves  and  the  dogs.  He  succeeded  in  killing 
one  medium-sized  specimen  in  less  than  an  hour's 
time.  I  watched  him  creeping  up  to  the  animal, 
through  my  field-glass,  until  at  last  it  looked  as  if  he 
could  touch  the  seal  with  his  hand,  from  which  position 
he  fired  and  killed  it.  At  the  same  time  I  observed 
in  another  direction  on  the  ice  between  twenty-five 
and  thirty  seals  in  one  single  herd.  With  this  addition 
to  our  fuel,  provisions,  and  dog  food  I  thought  then 
of  continuing  upon  our  journey  the  following  day, 
southward  in  the  direction  of  the  cape  named  Red 
Head,  which  place  would  be  very  favourable  for  some 
additional  observations.  The  same  day  wc  observed 
the  first  snow-bunting  of  the  season.  When  we  looked 
out  the  following  mornino"  at  five  o'clock  the  weather 
had  changed  entirely.  A  strong  southerly  wind  was 
blowing,  filling  the  air  with  drifting  snow.  We  had 
therefore  to  spend  the  day  indoors,  which  would  have 
been  little  enough  pleasure  for  me  but  for  my  native 
companion,  who  told  me  many  interesting  facts  illus- 
trating the  extreme  pluck  of  these  people  during  their 
hard  existence  in  this  remote  region.  Among  other 
things  he  told  me  that  the  bear  hunters  of  the  tribe 
very  frequently  went  over  to  the  east  side  of  Melville 
Bay,  and  also  that  the  present  condition  of  the  ice 

i68        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

for  sledge  travelling  was  not  exceptionally  favourable. 
Further,  I  found  that  every  landmark,  glacier,  or  little 
island  had  its  own  native  name  and  was  quite  familiar 
to  Koolootingwah.  Some  bear  hunters  had  even 
this  spring  (March  month)  been  ashore  somewhere 
near  Red  Head  where  they  had  seen  tracks  of  deer,  and 
the  young  hunter  Kooko  told  me  while  I  was  at  Cape 
York  of  the  remarkable  mountain  peak  ("  Devil's 
Thumb  ")  which  he  had  sighted  last  year  on  one  of 
his  trips  to  the  south  side.  Melville  Monument 
(native,  "  Ooshookshua  "),  a  small  peaked  island  be- 
tween Cape  Walker  and  Cape  Seddon,  which  seen 
from  the  south-west  is  shaped  very  much  like  the 
Devil's  Thumb,  seem  to  be  perfectly  familiar  to  every 
man  in  the  tribe.  Judging  from  my  own  experience 
in  Melville  Bay,  and  further  from  the  information  I 
have  gathered  from  the  natives,  but  principally  from 
what  I  have  seen  myself  of  the  travelling  ability  of  the 
Whale-Sound  natives,  which  is  truly  remarkable,  I 
believe  that  there  is  no  reason  why  they  should  not 
be  able  to  communicate  every  year  regularly  with  the 
most  northern  Danish  settlements,  if  the  necessary 
attractions  were  at  hand.  It  would  perhaps  necessit- 
ate overland  travelling  in  one  or  more  places,  but 
as  their  attributed  superstitious  fright  for  the  inland 
with  its  great  ice-cap  does  not  exceed  that  of  the 
average  white  man,  this  circumstance  would  be  no 
serious  objection  to  the  practicability  of  this  journey. 
It  is  true  that  their  hunting  and  exploring  trips  have 
hitherto  been  limited  to  the  more  northern  part  of 
the  same,  but,  from  what  I  have  orathered  from  them- 
selves, this  is  by  no  means  caused  by  open  water  or  other 
hindrances,  but  alone  by  their  perfect  ignorance  of  the 
close  proxiinity  of  their  long-lost  southern  brethren.^ 

'  Some  of  Astriip's  observations  are  not  entirely  in  accordance  with  my  own 
information,  but  it  is  not  necessary  to  call  attention  to  these  seriatim. 

Reconnaissance  of  Melville  Bay  169 

Next  morning  was  the  20th  of  April.  A  strong 
wind  was  still  blowino-  from  the  south.  All  our  dogf 
food  was  gone,  and  of  our  provisions  we  had  but 
enough  left  to  last  us  ten  days.  I  therefore  decided, 
instead  of  working  farther  southward,  it  would  be 
wiser  to  go  up  in  the  unknown  north-east  corner  of 
the  bay  and  continue  the  observations  there,  touching 
the  shore  at  different  places,  and  in  this  way  at  the 
same  time  work  my  way  back  to  Cape  York.  I  there- 
fore set  out  at  seven  a.m.  with  the  course  directly  for 
Cape  Murdock,  that  is,  the  distant  bluffs  which,  ac- 
cording to  the  map,  I  considered  to  be  this  cape. 
As  I  got  near,  however,  I  discovered  that  these  steep 
cliffs  were  nothing  but  a  lonely  nunatak,  situated  far 
into  the  broken,  irregular  surface  of  an  imposing 
glacier.  By  following  my  course  we  reached,  at  1 130 
P.M.,  a  little  island  which  on  the  inside  almost  touched 
the  glacier  face.  As  the  place  commanded  a  good 
view  of  the  surrounding  country,  and  as  the  fog  which 
we  had  encountered  in  the  morning  had  mostly  cleared 
away,  I  told  Koolootingwah  to  build  our  usual  little 
snow  house  near  the  beach  while  I  took  the  instru- 
ment and  ascended  the  three-  to  four-hundred-feet- 
high  summit  of  the  island  to  get  a  few  compass  bear- 
ings. After  a  while  I  was  visited  by  Koolootingwah, 
who  also  wanted  to  Q-et  a  orood  view  of  this  desolate 
corner  of  the  great  ice-fields  of  Melville  Bay.  But 
even  to  the  modest  native  this  place  seemed  to  offer 
no  attraction.  The  rocky  ground  was  everywhere 
covered  with  large  snow-drifts,  swept  down  there  by 
the  frequent  winds  from  the  near  glaciers.  In  some 
places  where  the  rocks  projected  through  the  snow 
the  old  markings  of  former  glacial  activity  could  be 

The  sights  I  got  were  not  many  on  account  of  the 
returning  mist,  therefore  I  soon  returned  to  the  igloo, 

170       Northvv^ard  over  the  ''Great  Ice" 

marking  the  summit  with  a  small  mound  of  the  few 
stones  that  could  be  found.  A  couple  of  yards  away 
from  our  camp  were  some  deep  marks  in  the  snow- 
drift close  to  a  little  iceberg  where  a  bear  had  been 
digging  for  a  seal  hole  not  a  long  time  before.  The 
same  or  another  bear  had  curiously  enough  been  on 
a  trip  up  to  the  top  of  the  very  bluff  I  had  just  visited. 
Koolootinofwah  told  me  afterwards  that  these  animals 
often  visit  the  shores  to  get  the  necessary  vegetable 
addition  to  their  diet.  When  we  ate  our  supper  that 
night  we  were  suddenly  attracted  by  the  barkings  of 
the  dogs  outside,  and  imagined  at  once  that  this  was 
caused  by  the  approach  of  a  bear.  In  one  second  we 
were  outside,  but  were  unable  to  discover  the  least 
suspicion  of  an  enemy.  When  I  turned  my  eyes  back 
to  the  igloo,  I  found  that  during  my  quick  but  un- 
graceful motion  through  our  twelve-inch  door-hole  I 
had  torn  down  very  nearly  half  of  the  house.  Kooloo- 
tingwah  and  I  were  both  very  sad  when  we  realised 
the  enormity  of  the  wreckage,  which  also  included  an 
overturned  teapot. 

The  following  morning  at  seven  o'clock,  we  con- 
tinued our  journey  in  calm,  misty  weather.  We  had 
hardly  travelled  two  hours  when  rounding  a  point  of 
a  small  island  we  discovered  a  bear,  not  over  half  a 
mile  away.  By  repeating  the  native  word  '' nan7tuk" 
a  few  times,  the  dogs  caught  on  to  the  fact  and  soon 
we  were  on  a  wild  hunt  after  the  giant,  who  almost 
on  first  sight  of  us  had  understood  the  danger  of  his 
situation  and  now  trotted  away  as  fast  as  his  heavy 
limbs  would  carry  him.  Our  dogs,  however,  gained 
rapidly  on  him,  and  when  we  were  about  three  hun- 
dred yards  away,  Koolootingwah,  who  was  sitting  in 
front  of  me  on  the  sledge,  cut  the  line  which  holds  all 
the  dog  traces,  so  as  to  set  the  dogs  free.  It  now  took 
them  but  a  few  seconds  to  reach  the  bear  and  stop 

Reconnaissance  of  Melville  Bay  171 

him.  It  was  a  fine  sight  to  see  them  form  a  half-circle 
in  front  of  the  large  beast,  which  now  was  kept  busy 
in  trying  to  ward  off  his  enemies.  Every  time  the 
bear  attempted  to  jump  on  a  dog  with  his  fore  paws, 
the  dog  jumped  twice  as  far  away  in  order  to  escape 
the  blow,  and  in  the  meanwhile  the  dogs  on  the  other 
side  took  this  opportunity  to  attack  the  bear.  A 
couple  of  minutes  after  the  dogs  had  overtaken  him, 
Koolootingwah  and  myself  arrived  at  the  place,  armed 
with  our  rifles.  We  shot  each  three  times  before  we 
had  finished  him.  The  skin  was  a  large  one  and  very 
beautiful.  When  we  were  through  with  the  skinning 
we  gave  the  dogs  a  good  feed,  cut  ofT  a  piece  also  for 
ourselves,  packed  the  sledge,  and  at  ten  a.m.  we  were 
again  under  way,  with  the  course  for  an  island  about 
ten  miles  W.  S.  W.  of  yesterday's  camp.  Here  I 
stopped  a  couple  of  hours  to  get  an  observation  of 
latitude,  and  also  a  set  of  bearino^s.  The  latitude  of 
the  place  I  found  to  be  76°  4'  20",  but  this  result 
is  not  absolutely  reliable,  as  the  glass  spirit-level  of 
the  telescope,  since  the  last  observation,  had  received 
a  small  crack  while  passing  over  some  hummocky  ice 
and  lengthened  the  air  bubble  so  much  that  it  pro- 
jected a  good  deal  beyond  the  ends  of  the  marked 
scale  on  the  same.  At  5:30  p.m.,  we  made  camp  after 
an  interesting  but  also  very  toilsome  day.  The  weather 
was  then  clear.  The  going  was  soft  and  heavy,  and 
with  the  additional  weight  of  a  bearskin  and  meat  on 
the  sledge,  the  dogs  went  on  slowly,  although  one  of 
us  was  usually  walking.  I  think  we  made  upwards  of 
twenty-five  miles  that  day. 

The  two  following  days,  the  22d  and  23d  of  April, 
during  which  we  enjoyed  the  best  of  weather,  brought 
us  safely  to  Cape  York.  Here  we  remained  the  two 
next  days,  as  the  weather  was  stormy,  and  the  dogs 
needed  some  rest.      First,  on  the  26th  at  six  a.m.,  we  re- 

172        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

sumed  our  journey,  no  longer  alone  but  in  company 
with  thirty-five  natives,  with  eight  sledges  pulled  by 
forty-five  dogs.  In  other  words,  it  was  the  whole 
Cape-York  colony  on  the  road,  each  family  with  their 
complete  outfit  of  skins,  harpoons,  stoves,  children,  and 
meat.  The  cause  for  this  great  emigration  was  not 
scarcity  of  food  at  the  colony,  but  rather  a  sudden  at- 
tack of  travelling  fever,  as  the  most  of  the  families  re- 
solved to  leave  the  place  on  the  morning  of  the  start. 
Before  night  many  of  them  had  left  us,  pitching  their 
tents  at  different  places  along  the  coast.  Only  two 
sledges  followed  us  to  Whale  Sound.  We  spent  the 
night  at  the  head  of  a  little  bay  running  into  the  west 
of  Conical  Rock  (native,  Ipsuischo).  Here  we  also 
remained  the  following  day,  starting  late  in  the  after- 
noon to  take  advantage  of  the  night  for  travelling. 
We  advanced  very  rapidly  and  reached  the  western 
end  of  Saunders  Island  at  four  o'clock  in  the  morning, 
where  we  made  camp.  On  the  south  side  of  this  isl- 
and there  is  an  Eskimo  settlemient  named  "  Akpan," 
which,  however,  we  did  not  visit  as  it  was  at  that  time 
deserted.  There  are  here,  as  well  as  at  Noxosimy,  right 
opposite  on  the  south  side  of  Wolstenholm  Sound, 
old  igloos  which  long  since  have  been  abandoned  by 
the  natives  on  account  of  the  intruding  sea  water. 

Similar  signs  of  a  sinking  coast-line  were  noticed 
near  the  Crimson  Cliffs  by  Dr.  Kane,  who  supposed 
the  axis  of  the  movement  of  oscillation,  to  which  the 
whole  Greenland  land-mass  is  generally  believed  to  be 
a  subject,  to  be  situated  somewhere  to  the  south  of 
the  77th  parallel.  If  there  is  really  a  depression  of 
the  southern  and  elevation  of  the  northern  part  of  the 
country  going  on,  the  position  of  the  axis  of  this  move- 
ment may,  however,  be  situated  somewhat  farther  to 
the  north.  My  reasons  for  this  supposition  are  partly 
based  upon  statements  repeatedly  made  by  a  number 

Reconnaissance  of  Melville  Bay  173 

of  reliable  natives,  some  of  whom  were  old  men,  namely, 
that  the  land  is  slowly  sinking  or,  as  they  express  it, 
''the  water  rising"  both  at  Netchilumi  and  at  the 
settlement  Kieti  on  Northumberland  Island  (Lat. 
']']''  15').  It  is  only  natural  that  these  people,  who 
invariably  build  their  habitations  so  close  to  the  beach- 
line,  would  observe  even  a  comparatively  slow  change 
in  the  level  of  the  sea,  and  I  have  no  doubt  about  their 
reliability  in  this  particular  case.  According  to  their 
statement,  the  axis  would  thus  hardly  be  situated  to 
the  south  of  the  78th  parallel. 

Our  camp  on  Saunders  Island  was  situated  in  a 
large  grotto,  running  in  at  sea-level  under  the  south- 
west cape  of  the  island,  and  was  indeed  a  very  pictur- 
esque one.  According  to  Koolootingwah,  the  natives 
at  times  hunt  walrus  on  a  large  scale  in  the  open  water 
to  the  westward  of  this  island,  principally  on  account 
of  their  tusks,  as  these  animals  are  all  full-grown  males, 
while  the  walrus  killed  at  Nerkey  and  Petowik  usu- 
ally are  females  and  young  ones.  When  we  left  Saun- 
ders Island  the  same  night  at  9:30  the  sky  was  cloudless. 
Instead  of  going  around  the  long  crook  of  Cape  Parry, 
I  decided  to  go  over  the  ice-cap  from  the  head  of 
Granville  Bay  to  Whale  Sound,  as  Koolootingwah 
knew  this  route  and  recommended  it  as  very  often 
being  used  by  the  natives.  We  therefore  laid  our 
course  right  in  Granville  Bay,  the  head  of  which  we 
reached  at  six  a.m.  Here  we  started  up  the  western 
of  the  two  glaciers  which  come  down  almost  to  the 
water's  edge  at  this  place,  and  scaled  the  ice-cap  due 
north  until  we  reached  a  divide  in  an  altitude  which  I 
should  estimate  to  be  fifteen  hundred  feet,  and  in  a  dis- 
tance from  the  head  of  Granville  Bay  of  about  six  miles. 
Our  satisfaction  was  g-reat  when  we  sigfhted  from  this 
point  the  familiar  scene  of  Whale  Sound.  After  a  quick 
slide  of  about  two  miles  down  the  north  side  of  the 

174       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

divide,  and  over  a  small  and  comparatively  steep 
glacier  on  the  west  side  of  Olriks  Bay  at  its  mouth, 
we  reached  the  sea  ice  at  one  p.m.,  and  four  hours  af- 
terwards the  settlement  of  Noxomy.  Here  we  ate  our 
last  meal  and  spent  the  last  night  of  our  pleasant 

The  next  morning  we  set  out  for  home,  where  we 
were  heartily  welcomed,  arriving,  as  I  had  carefully 
planned,  in  good  time  for  supper. 

In  closing  my  report  I  will  add  with  reference  to 
the  accompanying  map  that  it  is,  as  can  be  seen  from 
the  report,  the  result  of  a  very  rough  and  hurried  sur- 
vey, and  can  hardly  be  called  more  than  a  sketch  map. 
The  position  of  its  main  points  around  the  north-east 
corner  of  Melville  Bay  are  largely  determined  by 
sights  taken  from  the  three  points  of  a  large  triangle, 
the  sides  of  which  were  obtained  by  two  single  lati- 
ude  observations.  At  your  request,  you  will  find  en- 
closed also  a  profile  of  the  coast-line,  as  seen  from. 
Thom  Island. 

Very  respectfully 

Your  obedient  servant, 


Kt?«  s^ 















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Anniversary  Lodge,  August  15,  1894. 

R.  E.  Peary,  C.E., 


Commanding  North- 
Greenland  Expedi- 
tion, i8gj-^. 

Sir : — I  have  the  hon- 
our of  submitting  the  fol- 
lowing preliminary  report 
of  meteorological  work 
done  at  this  place  from 
August  3,  1893,  to  August 
I,  1894,  and  upon  the  Inland  Ice  from  March  5  to 
April  27,  1894. 

Through  the  courtesy  of  the  Hon,  Mark  W.  Har- 
rington, Chief  of  the  U.  S.  Weather  Bureau,  the 
meteorological  equipment  of  the  Expedition  was  sup- 
plemented by  the  use  of  an  observatory,  as  required 
at  all  Weather-Bureau  stations  of  the  first  order. 

All  deductions  as  to  climatic  conditions  have  fortun- 
ately been  rendered  more  perfect  by  the  satisfactory 
working  of  the  barograph  and  thermograph,  both 
durinor  the  Arctic  ni^ht  and  the  Inland-Ice  sledsfe 
journey.      Wind  velocities  are  recorded  as  indicated 

VOL.  11. — 12 

178        Northward  over  the  ''Great  Ice  " 

by   Robinson's    anemometer   (Weather    Bureau   pat- 

Temperatures  in  all  cases  are  Fahrenheit. 

Atcgust,  i8gj. 
Temperature  and  Pressure  [^pressure  for  eleven  days). 
Mean.  Maximum.  Minimum. 

4.28°  59-o°  o"  the  13th         29.0°  on  the  29th 

29.713"  29.953"  on  the  27th      29.270"  on  the  25th 

Ice  formed  on  harbour  during  several  nights  previ- 
ous to  the  departure  of  the  Falcon  ( 20th),  but  the 
temperature  of  the  air  in  the  observatory  (40  feet 
above  sea-level)  did  not  sink  to  the  freezing-point  till 
the  23d  at  nine  p.m. 

The  weather  was,  in  general,  cloudy,  with  light 
showers  on  six  different  nights,  from  the  south,  pleas- 
ant and  exhilarating,  with  light  winds  alternating  from 
the  north  and  south. 

September,  i8gj. 

Temperature  and  Pressure  : 

Mean.                                          Maximum.  Minimum. 

30.5°                            53-7°  on  the  4th  7.5'^  on  the  30th 

29.791"                        30.373"  on  the  i8th  29.032"  on  the  15th 

2  ft.  .  .  .36.4°  on  the  2d  31-6°  on  the  9th 

Temp.  Soil . 

4  ft ....  33.8°  on  the  5th  30.3°  on  the  9th 

Nearly  perfect  weather  for  the  first  two  weeks. 
Cloudy,  with  light  snows  from  the  south-east  or  south- 
west during  the  second  half  of  the  month.  Much 

From  the  i8th  to  the  20th,  or  during  fifty-four  con- 
secutive hours,  the  wind  velocity  equalled  17.5  miles, 
attaining,  on  the  19th  for  eleven  consecutive  hours,  a 

Meteorological  and  Auroral  Notes       179 

velocity  of  25.6  miles.  Between  eight  a.m.  and  nine 
A.M.  the  velocity  was  thirty-eight  miles,  and  for  the 
next  hour  and  a  half  a  movement  of  sixty-three  miles 
was  registered  (forty-two  miles  per  hour). 

On  the  2 2d  an  average  of  seventeen  miles  (S.  E.) 
for  twenty-four  hours,  with  a  maximum  average  for 
the  first  eleven  hours  of  twenty  miles,  was  recorded. 

High  wind  also  prevailed  during  the  24th.  It  was 
at  this  time  of  violence  that  the  boats  Mary  Peary 
and  'Doris  were  driven  across  the  harbour,  and  the 
Doris  hurled  swiftly  upon  the  rocks  of  the  shore. 
The  destruction  of  the  observatory  also  was  averted 
only  by  the  prompt  action  of  the  natives,  who  clung 
bodily  to  its  supports,  just  as  it  started  from  its 
fastenings.  At  this  crisis  I  was  assisting  you  in  res- 
cuing the  boats,  and  could  not,  therefore,  determine 
by  register  the  maximum  rate  of  the  wind,  but  it  was, 
beyond  a  doubt,  for  a  space  of  fifteen  minutes,  from 
fifty-five  to  sixty  miles  per  hour,  as  estimated  by  five- 
minute  averages  at  various  times  during  the  storm. 

October,  i8gj. 
Temperature  and  Pressure  : 

Mean.  Maximum.  Minimum. 

23.0°  45-o°  on  the  loth  1.5°  on  the  30th 

29.804"  30.413"  on  the  4th  28.836"  on  the  26th 

2  ft 32.1°  on  the  13th  18.8°  on  the  31st 

Temp.  Soil . 

4  ft . . .  .31.4°  on  the  ist  25.0°  on  the  29th 

But  three  days  of  clear  weather,  viz.,  2d,  17th,  and 
1 8th.  Precipitation  (in  nearly  every  instance  snow) 
inclusively  as  follows  :  7th,  g-i5th,  i9-28th,  and  31st. 
Notes  : — i6th.  Sun  bright  ;  clouds  crimson  and  of  vari- 
ous striking  hues.  O.^e  great  cloud  in  the  west  ap- 
peared like  a  huge  ball  of  fire  resting  upon  the  ice- 
cap.     2ist :    Weird  aspects  of  the  moon  seen  through 

i8o       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

thick  fall  of  snow  ;  its  reflection  made  it  appear  to  be 
in  the  south-west  on  the  snow-capped  cliffs  overlook- 
ing the  bay.  A  moment  later  its  cloud  and  snow 
shield  passed  away,  and  it  shone  forth  in  true  arctic 
splendour  directly  in  the  south  at  the  entrance  of  the 
bay,  2 2d  :  Beautiful  clear  moonlight  night,  pink- 
coloured  horizon  in  the  south,  and  stars  shining  like 
diamonds.  Bay  freezing  and  no  motion  of  water 
perceptible.  Silvery  streak  of  moonlight  extending 
southward  on  the  forminsf  ice,  the  entire  length  of  the 
bay.  25th  :  High  wind  from  eleven  p.m.  of  yester- 
day to  six  P.M.  to-day.  Weather  at  this  hour  (nine 
P.M.)  from  effects  of  south-east  cloud-blanketing,  calm, 
warm,  delightful.  Moon  endeavouring  to  wear 
corona.  26th  :  Last  clay  of  possible  sunshine.  Sun 
not  visible,  but  position  defined  from  11:30  a.m.  to 
twelve  M.  by  bright  streak  of  light  on  clouds  in  south. 
Moon  hazy — coronal — during  day.  Clouds,  driven  by 
light  wind,  passed  through  cirro-cumulus,  cirro-stratus, 
and  stratus  stao-es  to  nimbus,  with  snow  from  five  p.m. 
to  nine  p.m.  27th,  a.m.  :  Effects  of  sunlight  on  clouds 
over  south  of  bay  very  fine — colouring  of  deep  orange 
varying  in  intensity  on  clouds  of  changing  form. 
30th,  forenoon  :  Reflection  of  clouds  produced  pleas- 
ing "  just-before-sunrise  "  effects,  and  yet  a  depress- 
ing sensation  as  the  thouofht  that  the  sun  would  not 
rise  grew  upon  one  ;  it  seemed  as  though  it  would 
and  must  appear. 

From  the  8th  to  the  31st  inclusive,  high  south-east 
winds  prevailed  almost  constantly,  with  an  hourly 
average  for  the  entire  month  of  ii.i  miles.  From 
two  p.m.  of  the  9th  to  two  p.m.  of  the  12th,  the  aver- 
age velocity  was  17.3  miles,  with  a  maximum  average 
velocity  for  eleven  hours  on  the  9th  and  roth  of  25.1 
miles.  On  the  i  7th  for  a  space  of  nineteen  hours  the 
average  velocity  was  18.6  miles.      Between  eight  a.m. 

Meteorological  and  Auroral  Notes       i8i 

of  the  19th  and  two  p.m.  of  the  20th,  the  wind  attained 
an  average  velocity  of  20.9  miles,  with  a  maximum 
eleven-hour  velocity  of  25.6  miles.  Forty-three  hours 
commencing  at  eight  a.m.  of  the  23d,  the  average  was 

28.4  miles,  with    a   maximum  six-hourly  average   of 

32.5  miles,  ending  at  two  p.m.  of  the  24th.  From 
eight  A.M.  to  nine  p.m.  of  the  28th,  the  average  veloc- 
ity was  19.3  miles,  while  for  seven  hours  preceding 
nine  p.m.  of  the  31st  it  was  21.3  miles. 

November,  i8gj. 

TemperatU7-e  and  Pressure  : 

Mean.                                          Maximum.  Minimum. 

-7.7°                               30-o°  on  the  5th  -23.0°  on  the  29th 

30.098"                          30.318"  on  the  23d  29.045"  on  the  18th 

v-     A    c  •/    f  2  ft.  .    18.2°  on  the   ist  6.0°  on  the  28th 

Temp.  Sou :  \ 

(4  ft.  .    23.2    on  the  ist  14.0°  on  the  28th 

Notes  :— ist  :  Temperature  touched  zero  for  the 
first  time  this  season.  Thickness  of  ice  on  lake  north 
of  lodge,  4.25  inches;  on  bay,  17.12  inches.  5th: 
Maximum  temperature  occurred.  At  10:30  A.M.  cum- 
ulo-stratus  clouds  over  south  portion  of  bay  and  over 
gulf  beyond  were  gorgeously  coloured  :  to  the  right 
and  extending  over  the  ice-capped  cliffs  was  a  vast 
canopy  of  the  deepest  rose-red  ;  to  the  left,  a  rich 
field  of  gold  ;  later  these  became  rose-red,  partially 
overveiled  with  a  thin  bronze-hued  cloud.  6th,  ten 
A.M.  to  two  P.M.  :  Diffused  da3dight  generated  by  snow- 
filled  clouds;  fine  cloud  colouring;  nine  p.m.,  "dead 
calm  "  and  snow  falling  perpendicularly. 

The  wind  this  month  made  an  hourly  average  of 
10.7  miles  for  eleven-hour  periods  on  the  following 
dates  (nine  p.m.  to  eight  a.m.)  :  ist-2d,  6th,  9-1  ith,  1 7th, 
2T)d-2/\.th. ,  of  13.6  for  six-hour  periods  on  the  2d,  9th, 

i82        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

1 8- 1 9th.  On  the  5th  occurred  a  maximum  velocity 
of  26.7  miles  for  seven  hours,  with  a  maximum  single- 
hour  velocity  of  33  miles  between  six  and  seven  p.m. 
The  average  for  all  winds  during  the  month  was  6.7 
miles  per  hour. 

For  September,  October,  and   November  the  aver- 
age for  all  winds  was  7.5  miles  per  hour. 

Decenibe7%  i8gj. 

Temperature  and  Pressure  : 

Mean.  Maximum.  Minimum. 

-17.4°  14-7°  on  the  3d      -26.4°  on  the  i8th 

29.624"  30.300"  on  the  17th   29.117"  on  the  4th 

j  2  ft ...  ,      1.0°  on  the  4-6th  -10.0°  on  the  26-30th 

Temp.  Soil 

4  ft.  .  . .    12.0°  on  the  ist        -2.0°  on  the  30th 

Prevailingly  cloudless.  Sky  rich  blue.  26th.,  a.m.  : 
Very  quiet,  peculiarly  arctic,  clear,  and  pleasant. 
Light  cirrus  band  in  zenith  extending  in  south  and 
north-west  direction  ;  bright  southern  horizon,  the 
entire  celestial  dome  richly  contrasting  in  colour, — red 
of  horizon,  white  of  upper  daylight  as  cast  by  the  sun 
of  more  southern  latitudes,  and  blue  of  the  north  polar 
sky.  Auroral  light  and  the  silvery  moon  now  circling 
the  horizon, — beautiful  moonlight  days,  and  still  more 
beautiful  moonlight  nights. 

JamLary,  iSg^. 

Temperature  and  Pressure  : 

Mean.  Maximum.  Minimum. 

—22.2°  5.0°  on  the  2ist  -34.0°  on  the  17th 

29.754"  30.219"  on  the  17th        28.923"  on  the  3d 

Temp.  Soil:  j  ^  ^t. .  . .    -7.0°  on  the  3d  -15.0°  on  the  19th 

(4  ft i.o°on  the  ist  &  4th    -4.0°  on  the  28th 

Meteorological  and  Auroral  Notes       183 


Generally  "clear,"  with  ligiit  falls  of  snow,  usually 
from  the  south-east,  on  the  following  dates  :  ist,  2d, 
5th,  1 2- 1 6th,  and  21st. 

On  the  first,  the  New  Year  opened  with  cloudy  sky 
and  general  gloomy  conditions  of  weather.  At  eight 
A.M.,  but  two  or  three  of  the  brightest  stars  were  dimly 
visible.  Snow  from  ten  a.^i.  to  nine  p.m.  Dark  at  three 
P.M.  5th  :  Light  of  returning  sun  much  augmented  at 
mid-day.  Outlines  of  distant  cliffs  more  clearly  discern- 
ible and  lieht  thrown  higher  above  southern  horizon. 
20th:  Storm  began  at  nine  p.m.  with  wind  blowing  at 
twelve  miles  per  hour.  21st:  Storm  continues  ;  vast 
snow-clouds  blowing  from  the  north-east  off  ice-cap 
and  over  cliffs.  Maximum  single-hour  velocity  of 
wind  twenty-four  miles  from  seven  to  eight  p.m. 

February,  iSg^. 

Temperature  and  Pressure  : 
Mean.  Maximum.  Minimum. 

-24.0°  ~3-0°  on  the  17th  -34.2°  on  the  ist 

29.284"  30.014"  on  the  9th   28.849"    on  the  i6th 

i  2  ft.  -13.0°  on  the  20th  -21.0°  on  the  6th 
■^'  ■  (  4  ft.    -6.0°  on  the  TSt      -10.0°  on  the  nth,  r4th,i6th 

Clear  during  first  half  of  the  month,  but  cloudy, 
with  frequent  south-east  snowfalls,  during  the  second 

5th  :  Barometer  low  (28.980°,  same  as  minimum 
observed  at  Fort  Coneer).  7th  :  Barometer  ao^ain 
low  (28.928°).  15th:  Lunar  corona  visible  in  the 
east  about  2:30  p.m.,  changing  to  halo  somewhat 
later  and  visible  as  such  till  8:30  p.m.  Sunset  clouds 
in  the  west  of  a  beautiful  rose  colour.  Sun  barely  visi- 
ble near  the  lodge  for   the  first  time  this  year  (1894). 

t84       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

i6th  :  Very  low  barometer.  Pink  colours  on  western 
sky  remarkably  fine,  particularly  those  lying  in  bands, 
having  the  appearance  of  "pink  auroras."  Violet 
hues  in  the  north,  very  striking,  the  returning  sun  re- 
painting the  scenes  of  autumn. 

March,  i8g^. 

Temperature  (eleven  days  last  of  mouth)  : 





10.0°  on  the  29th 

-31.5''  on  the  20th 

Temp.  Soil : 

j  2  ft.. 


, .  -14.0°  on  the  4th 
. .    -8.0°  on  the  4th 

-15.0°  on  the  2d 
-S.s""  on  the  2d 

The  soil  thermometers  were  read  on  the  2d  and  4th 
only,  just  before  my  departure  with  you  on  the  In- 
land-Ice sledging  journey.  These  readings,  how- 
ever, in  connection  with  others  noted  during  the  last 
of  February,  indicate  a  seasonal  rise  in  the  tempera- 
ture of  the  soil. 

Barometer  readings  at  Anniversary  Lodge  incom- 
plete, but  may  be  practically  obtained  by  reduction  of 
barograph  and  aneroid  readings  made  on  the  Inland 

20th:  High  north  wind  at  nine  p.m.,  but  calm  and  clear 
during  the  day.  21st:  High  north  wind,  with  short 
calms.  Air  filled  with  snow  crystals.  Observatory 
destroyed  during  the  night  of  21st  and  22d, — frag- 
ments of  it  having  been  blown  two  miles  away  on  the 
ice  of  the  bay.  28th  :  Violent  storm  on  the  Inland 
Ice,  indicated  by  vast  dark  clouds  of  snow,  carried 
with  extreme  velocity  and  at  great  height  (above  the 
loftiest  surrounding  peaks)  far  beyond  the  land  border. 
29th  and  30th  :  Clear  at  the  lodge,  but  still  drifting 
violently  on  the  ice-cap. 

Meteorological  and  Auroral  Notes       185 
April,  i8g4. 

Temperature  and  Pressure  : 

Mean.                                   Maximum.  Minimum. 

-2.4°                        17.0°  on  the  26th  -26.0^  on  the  ist 

29.926"                    30.615"  on  the  loth  29.098"  on  the  23d 

Generally  north-east  wind  (light  at  the  lodge), 
but  high  on  the  9th.  Clear  sky,  with  light  snows  on 
the  20th,  2 1  St,  and  26th, 

May,  iSg/f, 

Temperature  and  Pressure  : 

Mean.  Maximum.  Minimum. 

27.0°  47-o°  on  the  24th  -2.o°on  the  nth 

30.097"  30.860"  on  the  17th  29.602"  on  the  4th 

^      ,        .,     (  2  ft.  ...  22.0°  on  the  SI  St  2.^°  on  the  4th 

Temp,  soil :  \  01  o  1  , 

(  4  ft. .  . .  13.0    on  the  31st  0.5    on  the  4th 

Generally  calm,  varied  by  light  breezes  from  the 
south-east  or  south-west  during  the  forenoons.  Two 
P.M.  and  nine  p.m.  observations  show  frequent  north- 
east or  north-west  winds  with  general  cloudiness  of 
sky  and  ten  different  days  on  which  snow  fell. 

7th  :  Heavy  snow-storm  on  the  ice-cap.  24th,  p.m.: 
Warm — oppressive  to  person  exercising, — caused  by 
thick  cloud-blanketing.  Clouds  moving  briskly  from 
the  south-east  and  having  rainy  appearance,  followed 
by  snow  and  much  wind  during  the  afternoon  of  the 
25th.  27th  :  At  evening,  sky  cloudless,  but  at  six  p.m. 
became  gradually  overcast  with  cirrus  clouds.  In  the 
north-west,  halo  around  sun,  radius  26°  and  on  upper 
limb,  arc  of  second  ring.  Disappeared  at  end  of  two 
hours,  with  change  of  cirrus  clouds  to  cirro-stratus 
form.      28th  :  Snow-storm  ;  thick  on  ice-cap.      On  the 

1 86       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

29th  occurred  high  wind  with  velocity  of  twenty  miles 
per  hour.  Snowfall ;  flakes  large  and  beautiful.  30th. 
Storm  continued — heavy  on  ice-cap  ;  snowflakes  sm^U 
and  round. 

Jtuie,  i8g4. 

Temperature  and  Pressure  : 

Mean.  Maximum.  Minimum. 

35.5"  50.0°  on  the  9th  20.0°  on  the  5th 

29.630"  30.163"  on  the  nth  29.168"  on  the  15th 

Generally  cloudy,  with  much  fog,  accompanied  by 
light  south-east  breezes  during  the  last  ten  days  of  the 
month.  Leads  and  pools  forming  in  the  ice  of  the 
bay  and  gulf,  and  snow  rapidly  melting  from  the 

loth  :  Brook  east  of  lodge  running  in  large 
volume.  About  four  inches  of  snow  fell  during  the 
night.  iith  and  12th:  Fog.  14th,  10:45  p.m.: 
Barometer  (reduced)  29.235  (within  .07  of  the  mini- 
mum), high  north  wind,  with  heavy  drift  on  the  In- 
land Ice  and  on  the  bay.  Articles,  such  as  boards, 
oars,  barrels,  and  trunks,  carried  violently  away. 

J2ily,  i8g^. 

Temperature  and  Pressure  : 

Mean.  Maximum.  Minimum. 

39.7°  52.0°  on  the  22d  25.0°  on  the  28th 

29.765"  30.131"  on  the  30th  29.413"  on  the  21st 

Cloudy,  with  fog  during  the  first  half,  but  clear 
and  "  calm  " — delightful — during  the  last  days  of  the 

Meteorological  and  Auroral  Notes       187 





(in  degrees). 

^in  inches). 








August,     1893. . . . 







September,"    . .  . . 





I    29.791 



October,       "    .  .  .  . 








November,  "    .  .  . . 

-   7 



—  23.0 




December,  "    .  . . . 




—  26.4 




January,  1894. . . . 

—  22 






28. 923 

February,    "    .  .  .  . 
March,         "    

—  12 



-   3-0 
10. 0 





April,          "    

—   2 







May,            "    




—   2.0 




June,           "    .  .  .  . 





:    29.630 



July,             "    .... 











-   7.8 




*  Mean  for  August,  eleven  clays  (last  of  month)  ;  for  year,   eleven  months 
(March  wanting). 

Very  respectfully, 

E.   B.   Baldwin, 

Meteorologist  Expedition. 

Anniversary  Lodge,  Aug.  7,  1894. 

R.   E.   Peary,   C.E.,  U.S.N. , 

Com7na7iding  North- Greenland  Expedition,  i8gj-^. 

Dear  Sir: — In  compliance  with  your  request  of 
July  1 2th,  for  separate  special  report  of  the  equinoc- 
tial storm  encountered  by  the  Inland-Ice  party,  I  have 
the  honour  to  submit  the  following  : 

From  seven  p.m.  of  March  15th,  the  barograph 
(checked  by  aneroids)  fell,  with  very  slight  variations, 
from  a  reading  of  24.98  inches  on  that  date,  to  one  of 
24.60  inches  at  four  p.m.  of  March  20th,  the  observa- 
tory sledge  meanwhile  having  been  advanced  a  dis- 
tance of  five  miles  over  a  practically  level  surface  at 

1 88        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

an  elevation  of  over  six-sevenths  of  a  mile.  Thence 
seven  miles  to  Camp  No.  4,  now  better  known  as 
Camp  Equinoctial.  A  rise  in  elevation  caused  a  cor- 
responding depression  of  the  barograph  pen  to  a 
reading  of  24.40  inches  at  eight  p.m.  of  the  20th, 
Taking  this  as  an  initial  point  for  storm  data,  we  find 
the  following  : 

From  eieht  p.m.  of  the  20th  to  nine  a.m.  of  the 
2 1  St  (thirteen  hours),  a  barographic  depression  of  .15 
inch  ;  constant  thermographic  depression  from  -32.0° 
to  -39.5°  (-42.0°  by  thermometer  exposed  to  wind)  ; 
average  wind  velocity,  twenty-nine  miles. 

From  nine  a.m.  to  4:30  p.m.  (y^  hours),  a  baro- 
graphic depression  of  .  1 1  inch;  thermographic  -39.5° 
to  -40.5°  (-44.0°  by  thermometer  exposed  six  feet 
above  the  thermograph)  ;  average  wind  velocity,  31.5 

From  4:30  P.M.  to  7:15  p.m.  (2^  hours),  a  barographic 
depression  of  .04  inch  ;  thermographic, -40.5°  to  -42.0° 
(-46.5°  by  thermometer)  ;  average  wind  velocity, 
38.2  miles. 

From  7:15  p.m.  March  21st  to  four  a.m.  of  the  2 2d, 
the  barograph  suffered  a  depression  of  .10  inch,  at 
which  time  the  pen  passed  below  the  24-inch  registra- 
tion line,  this  being  the  limit  to  which  the  instrument 
had  been  set.  The  thermograph  meanwhile  continued 
to  decline  till  eight  a.m.  of  the  22d,  at  which  hour 
the  pen  passed  below  the  -50.0°  line,  the  lowest  at 
which  it  seemed  advisable  to  set  the  instrument  with- 
out injury  to  its  mechanism  through  manipulation  in 
such  low  temperatures. 

During  the  2 2d,  the  fury  of  the  storm  was  at  its 
worst,  rendering  it  impossible  to  get  at  the  instruments, 
the  wind  movement  alone  being  noted  by  the  dial  of  the 
anemometer.  In  these  readings  you  kindly  assisted, 
and  o-reat    care  was  exercised  in  observing  the  reels- 

Meteorological  and  Auroral  Notes       189 

tration  numbers,  the  violence  of  the  storm  sues^est- 
ino-  double  vio-ilance.  The  four  readino-s  made  from 
7:15  P.M.  March  21st  to  five  a.m.  March  23d  give  a 
total  movement,  in  jj\  consecutive  konrs,  of  162^ 
miles,  or  at  an  average  of  /fS.i  miles  per  Jiour. 

At  ten  A.M.  of  the  23d,  a  reading  of  the  surveying 
aneroid,  which  for  eight  months  had  tallied  closely 
with  the  barograph,  indicated  an  atmospheric  pressure 
of  23.90  inches,  the  tendency  then  being  upward,  in 
which  manner  it  continued  at  a  nearly  uniform  rate 
for  fifty  hours,  or  till  noon  of  the  25th,  at  which  time 
it  registered  24.75  inches,  this  being  nearly  the  normal 
for  several  days  preceding  the  storm.  We  may 
therefore  conclude  that  the  barograph  reached  a 
minimum  of  at  least  23.80  inches  about  midnight  of 
the  2 2d,  and  that  this  low  pressure,  in  connection 
with  an  induced  gravity  impulse  of  the  colder  and 
heavier  atmosphere  rushing  from  the  Inland-Ice 
plateau  lying  to  the  east  and  north-east  still  another 
mile  above  the  camp,  gave  rise  to  a  storm  of  extra- 
ordinary violence. 

The  thermograph  indicated  a  temperature  con- 
stantly below  the -50°  line,  rising  to  -43°  (same  by 
thermometer  exposed)  at  ten  a.m.,  and  to  a  maximum 
for  the  day  of  -39°  at  one  p.m.  ;  the  maximum  for 
the  mid-day  hours  of  the  two  days  preceding  being 
-51°  on  the  22d  and  -42°  on  the  21st. 

The  minimum  temperature  for  the  night  of  the 
22d  was  probably  not  higher  than  -60°. 

For  thirty-eight  hours  during  which  the  thermograph 
fell  to  minimums  for  the  three  preceding  nights,  we 
obtain  an  average  rate  of  decrease  of  temperature  of 
.79°  per  hour.  Owing  to  the  tension  of  the  spring 
which  regulates  the  elevation  of  the  pen  of  the  ther- 
mograph increasing  with  a  decrease  of  temperature, 
the    thermograph  registered  from   three   degrees    to 

iQo       Northward  over  the  ''Great  Ice" 

three  and  a  half  deo^rees  too  hieh  when  the  thermo- 
meter  (with  corrections  apphed)  indicated  a  true  temp- 
erature of  from  -41.8°  to  -45.0°. 

Instead,  therefore,  of  a  temperature  of -50.0'' at 
eight  P.M.  of  the  2 2d  we  should  have  one  of- 53.0°. 
Addinor  to  this  12°  obtained  as  a  total  decrease  of 
temperature  for  the  fourteen  hours  succeeding,  at  a 
uniform  rate  of  .79°  per  hour,  we  obtain  a  ininiinuin 
of  -6^,  and  certainly  not  higher  than  -60°.  In  all 
cases  Fahrenheit  degrees  are  meant. 

The  appended  sheets  from  the  barograph  and 
thermograph  indicate  the  atmospheric  pressure  and 
temperature  from  eleven  a.m.  March  19th  to  eleven 
A.M.  March  26th.  The  dotted  lines  refer  to  inter- 
polations. It  will  thus  appear  that  the  average  temp- 
erature during  the  thirty-fonr  ho2crs  of  greatest  wind 
velocity  was  belozu  -50°  F. 

The  wind  direction  was  as  follows  :  from  the  north- 
west during  the  night  of  the  19th  and  forenoon  of 
the  20th  ;  from  the  north-east  thereafter,  with  much 
calm  during  the  24th,  and  again  high  from  the  east  on 
the  25th.  Wind  velocities  are  given  as  indicated  by 
Robinson's  anemometer.  This  instrument,  together 
with  the  thermograph  and  barograph,  is  of  the  same 
pattern  as  used  at  all  U.  S.  Weather  Bureau  stations 
of  the  first  order. 

The  thermometers  used  were  specially  manufactured 
for  your  Expedition  of  189 1-2  by  Green  of  New  York. 
They  were  at  that  time  corrected  by  Professor  Marvin 
of  the  Weather  Bureau  and  recompared  by  the  same 
high  authority  in  June,  1893.  They  will  again  be 
tested  upon  the  return  of  the  present  Expedition. 

Very  respectfully, 

E.  B.  Baldwin, 

Meteorologist  Expedition. 


Meteorological  and  Auroral  Notes       191 


October.  i8gj. 

Hourly  watch  for  the  appearance  of  aurorse,  and 
notes,  whether  visible  or  not,  were  begun  on  the 
15th  of  this  month,  and  continued  regularly  there- 
after till  the  I  St  of  March.  None  occurred,  however, 
during-  October. 


November,  i8gj. 

Auroras  visible:  loth,  6  a.m.;  nth,  5  a.m.;  i6th, 
3  a.m.  ;  27th,  4-8  P.M.;  29th,  7  P.M.  ;  30th,  11  p.m. 
— or  on  ten  different  watch  hours. 

loth. — The  thermometer  stands  at  10°  below  zero, 
and  a  breeze  from  the  north-east  comes  from  the  ice- 
cap. See  that  yellowish-white  arch,  perfect  in  form, 
uniform  in  density,  spanning  the  heavens  from  west 
to  east !  Leo,  Cancer,  Gemini,  Taurus, — this  por- 
tion of  the  zodiac  seems  veiled  in  the  golden  hue. 

Three  minutes  pass — the  light  is  fading  fast  away. 
Now  turn — look  to  the  north  !  There,  from  ten  to 
fifteen  degrees  below  Polaris,  before — even  upon — 
Cephus,  Cassiopeia,  Perseus,  and  far  towards  Atiriga, 
appears  a  series  of  ascending  beams  of  light,  a  train 
of  "merry  dancers,"  performing  in  the  presence  of 
this  celestial  audience.  But  two  minutes  pass,  and 
arch  and  beam  have  alike  disappeared  forever  in  the 

i6th. — Aurora  visible  in  the  south  between  three  and 
four  A.M.  Complete  arch  from  west  to  east,  much  ob- 
scured by  hazy  condition  of  the  atmosphere.  Highest 
point  of  the  convex  edge  18°  above  the  horizon,  4:10 
A.M.,  arch  becomes  double,  each  one  2°  in  width,  with 
dark  space  or  segment  1°  wide  lying  between.  Lower 
arch  passing  over  star  Procyon,  and  both  arches  grad- 

192        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

ually  disappearing  from  the  ends  towards  the  middle 
points,  vanishing,  finaUy,  as  a  luminous  patch. 

2ytJi. — Aurora  or  aurorae  began  at  4:20  p.m.,  form- 
ing parallel  bands  or  arches  extending  from  north-west 
to  south-east.  Varying  in  tenuity,  the  arches  appear  to 
move  as  semicircles  from  the  north-east  to  the  south- 
west. Continuing  as  described  till  7  145  to  8  p.m.,  one 
of  the  arches  forms  itself  into  a  luminous  curtain, 
covering  Pleiades,  Polaris,  head  of  Draco  and  the 
body  of  Her  cities.  In  the  north  a  lunar  halo  accom- 
panies  the  appearance  of  the  aurora  from  4  :  20  to 

5  --Z^  P-M- 

zgth. — /\t  seven  p.m.  aurorae  very  similar  to  those 

noted  on  the  27th  appear  and  continue  for  the  space  of 
of  fifteen  minutes.  Hanging  as  four  luminous  curtains 
of  moderate  brightness  they  extend  from  west  to  east 
across  the  sky,  the  northernmost  at  its  middle  convex 
point  rising,  in  altitude,  10°  above  the  horizon,  and,  ap- 
pearing to  wave  from  west  to  east,  finally  disappears  in 
that  quarter  ;  the  next,  extending  from  horizon  to 
the  opposite  point,  gradually  fades  away  equally  at  all 
points  ;  the  third  and  fourth,  separated  by  a  space  of 
5°,  spread  or  rather  vault  from  east  to  west,  their  middle 
convex  points  being  elevated  from  the  southern  hori- 
zon about  45°  and  40°  respectively.  All  of  these  are 
noticed  to  be  of  greater  luminosity  in  their  eastern 
portions,  their  final  disappearance  being  marked  by 
luminous  patches  having  the  appearance  of  the  glow- 
ing of  distant  fire. 

Weather  :  cloudless,  with  slight  breeze  from  the 

A  bright  curtain  at  eleven  p.m.  extending  from 
south-west  to  north-east,  and  covering  the  head  of 
Cetiis,  body  of  Orion,  and  the  feet  of  Gemini.  A 
north-east  breeze  accompanies  a  temperature  of 
-20°    F.       In    ten    minutes'  time    it  has  quite   disap- 

Meteorological  and  Auroral  Notes       193 

peared,  only  to  reappear  in  four  minutes  as  a  bright 
curtain  waving  in  the  south-west  and  a  luminous 
patch  in  the  north-east.  Now  changes  the  curtain- 
like portion  to  a  shining  mass,  forked  like  a  Y  at  the 
most  distant  point  in  the  south-west,  the  entire  dis- 
play soon  ceasing  up  to  the  body  of  Orion,  whence 
there  suddenly  springs  an  arch  far  into  the  north- 
east ;  which,  disappearing,  is  immediately  followed  by 
streamers  shooting  up  with  lightning-like  rapidity  in 
the  south-west,  only  to  change  into  curtains  folding 
themselves  towards  the  north-east,  encirling,  as  it  were, 
Orion  with  a  silvery  vest,  its  upper  edge  ornamented 
by  Betelgeux  and  Bellatrix,  its  lower,  by  the  starry 
Belt.  At  11:17  we  note  the  chano:ino-  tints  of  ei'een 
in  this  particular  place.  Yet  another  minute  and  our 
curtain  portion  gives  way  to  several  beams,  or  "  merry 
dancers,"  in  the  south-west,  flitting  farther  towards  the 
north-east  and  nearer  bold  Orion,  and  seeminof  to  vie 
with  each  other  in  efforts  to  stand  highest. 

But  their  merry-making  is  of  short  duration.  They 
vanish  ;  a  light  from  the  deep  south-west  diffuses  it- 
self onward  and  upward,  covering  the  head  of  Cetus 
with  remarkable  brightness,  at  which  moment  there 
suddenly  plunges  from  near  Hyades  a  brilliant  meteor, 
precipitating  itself  in  the  direction  of  Jllenkar  and 
Mira,  and  followed  in  like  manner,  three  minutes 
later,  by  a  second — both  coursing  through  the  over- 
spread brightness  into  the  very  jaws  of  the  celestial 

And  now,  progressing  by  degrees,  this  luminosity 
extends  itself  in  one  lono-  belt,  covering  Orion,  the 
limbs  of  Pollux,  Cancer  and  the  on-coming  Leo,  sink- 
ing lower  and  lower  towards  the  southern  horizon, 
seeming  to  form  into  illumined  clouds  of  the  stratus 
variety,  which,  finally  dissipating  themselves,  leave  the 
celestial  dome  ag-ain  free  and  undimmed. 

194        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

December,  i8gj. 

Aurorse :  5th,  9-10  p.m.  ;  6th,  4  a.m.  ;  7th,  7-8  a.m., 
10  A.M.,  5  P.M.  ;  8th,  4  A.M.  ;  9th,  6  a.m.  ;  loth,  4  a.m.  ; 
nth,  9-10  A.M.;  I2th,  II  P.M.  ;  13th,  9-10  p.m.,  12 
midnight  ;  15th,  10  p.:m.,  3  a.m.,  10  a.m.  ;  25th,  9  a.m.  ; 
29th,  9-10  p.m.  ;  30th,  7-10  A.M.,  lo-ii  P.M. — or  on 
twenty-eight  different  hours. 

We  look  upon  the  northern  horizon  at  nine  o'clock 
to-night  and  observe  a  yellowish  light  thinly  veiling 
the  stars,  thence  upward  twenty  degrees,  and  this 
bordered  by  a  deeply  contrasting  blackness  some  four 
or  five  degrees  wide,  and  it  in  turn  gradually  shading 
into  a  whitish  mantle  of  cirrus  gauze  covering  the 
remainder  of  radiant  space  through  which  the  south 
seems  to  shine  with  the  softened  paleness  of  southern 

East  is  Gemini  resting  upon  Mt.  Bartlett.  South- 
east is  Oj'ioji  slowly  advancing  westward.  North  are 
Virgo  and  Coma  Berenices  bathing  in  the  flaxen  flood. 
The  Leos,  Major  and  Minor,  are  submerged.  They 
seem  to  rouse  their  shaggy  selves  and  shaft  and  flame 
spring  forth.  The  clock  strikes  the  half-hour  upon 
9  :  30  ;  't  is  the  cleath-knell  of  the  unsuspecting  Zr-'^-i''/ 
In  quick  succession  Cancer  and  Gemini  ]o\n  the  fray, 
hurling  their  burnished  beams  straight  up.  And  now, 
directing  their  fiery  flight  by  true-eyed  Betelgenx  and 
Be/Iairix,  from  giant  Orion,  handsome  hunter  of  the 
heavens,  red  and  green-edged  lances  leap.  "  The 
very  'Pillars  of  Hercules'!"  exclaims  Lieutenant 
Peary  as  he  views  the  scene.  And  so  think  all 
of  us,  as  we  continue  to  gaze  till  the  last  lance  is 
thrown,  till  the  final  flare  ceases  at  the  stroke  of  ten, 
and  we  are  again  awed  by  the  accustomed  stillness  of 
the  arctic  nio-ht. 

yt/i. — It  is  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  and  a  thin 

Meteorolog-ical  and  Auroral  Notes       195 

band  of  whitish  hght  stretches  across  the  sky  from 
north-east  to  south-west,  thus  forming  a  complete 
arch.  Not  a  cloud  is  to  be  seen,  and  therefore  we 
cannot  attribute  its  existence  to  cloud  illumination. 

In  tracing  its  course  with  reference  to  the  constella- 
tions  and  the  brighter  stars,  you  begin  at  Alpha  and 
Delta  Pei^sci,  pass  along  this  elevated  pathway  across 
the  limbs  of  Cassiopeia,  loins  of  CcpJieiLS,  body  and 
head  of  Draco,  and  body  of  Hercules,  where,  between 
Ras  A I  Get  hi  (a  Hercitlis)  and  Ras  A I  HagiLc  {a 
Ophiuchi),  it  terminates. 

Immediately  in  our  zenith  it  revolves  as  a  vast 
semicircle,  uniformly  to  the  westward,  or  at  right  an- 
gles to  its  projection  in  the  heavens,  when,  arriving 
at  Polaris,  it  gradually  dies  away.  The  surface  wind 
meanwhile  has  h&^n  from  the  north-west. 

It  scarcely  dissolves  itself  ere,  at  4:15,  there  ap- 
pears a  second,  forming  itself  as  an  undulating 
curtain,  spiked  on  high  by  the  golden  Umik  and  Ser- 
pens, Alpheta  {a  Corona  Borealis),  Mirac,  Cor  Car- 
oli,  at  which  point  the  ciirtain  form  ceases  ;  it  thence 
passing  over  Ursa  Major,  and  finally  settling  on  the 
rump  of  the  Lynx,  completes  itself  as  an  arch.  Inci- 
dentally we  note  the  flight  of  a  brighter  meteor  from 
its  convex  point  and  directly  along  its  course  to  the 
sonth-west.  We  should  also  have  noticed  the  descent 
in  the  opposite  direction  of  two  meteors  which  fol- 
lowed the  track  of  the  former  arch. 

At  4:25  all  this  vanishes,  and  we  wait  till  4:55,  when 
from  the  Sickle,  or  head  of  Leo,  now  in  the  west  of 
north,  there  is  seen  a  clear  tinge  of  red  spreading  to 
the  head  of  Leo  Minor,  and  thence  passing  into  a  dif- 
fused white  light,  extending  completely  round  the 
horizon.  A  moment  after  five  o'clock  we  note  the 
reappearance  of  the  glow  in  the  north-west,  red-green 
in  colour,  and  soon  followed  by  a  red  beam  shooting 

196       Northward  over  the  •* Great  Ice" 

suddenly  upward  eight  or  ten  degrees  from  the  jaws, 
of  Leo.  These  fading  away,  naught  auroral  is  visible 
save  the  yellowish  light  which  rests  everywhere  upon 
the  horizon. 

The  watch  ticks  its  way  to  5:18,  a  semicircle  of 
light  once  more  grrows  downward  from  our  almost 
polar  zenith,  westward  to  Ras  AL  Gethi  and  Ras  Al 
Hague,  eastward  to  Alpha  dinA  Delta  Persei. 

Thus  it  occupies,  with  reference  to  the  constella- 
tions, almost  the  same  position  as  at  first — two  hours 
eighteen  minutes  earlier.  In  other  words,  it  has  fol- 
lowed  the  sun  in  his  course  westward,  or,  plainer, 
remained  stationary  during  the  revolution  of  the  earth 
two  hours  eighteen  minutes  eastward. 

At  5:28  we  observe  that  it  has  split  into  two  semi- 
circles separated  by  an  intervening  space  of  two  de- 
grees' width,  the  terminal  points,  however,  still  resting, 
as  stated,  on  Perseus  and  Hercules.  Three  minutes 
later  these  again  integrate,  revolving  steadily  north- 
westward, till,  hanging  upon  the  Big  Dipper,  or  Ursa 
Major,  we  mark  a  total  disappearance  of  the  band  at 
5:45  P.M. 

nth. — Light-coloured  arch,  appearing  in  the  west  at 
9:45  A.M.,  extending  from  north  to  south  generally, 
follows  the  course  of  stars  Lambda  and  Gamma  Ge7ni- 
norum.  Cancer,  body  of  Leo  Major,  rises  at  ten  a.m. 
to  Leo  Minor,  revolving  thence  to  Psi  Ursa  Major, 
Cor  Caroli,  Mirac,  Alpheta,  and  finishes  at  Beta  and 
Zeta  Herculis.     Visible  one  hour. 

7J//2.— Aurora  of  arch  form  visible  from  nine  p.m.  to 
10:20  P.M.  extends  from  Mir  a  and  Meiikar  to  Mirac 
and  Arcturtis,  covering  stars  immediately  below 
Algenib  and  Markab,  Pisces,  Eq2tuleus,  Delphinus, 
Aqtdla,  Taurus,  Pons,  Ras  A I  Hague,  Ras  A I  Gethi, 
and  Alpheta. 

i^th. — Auroral  arch  noted  at   2:30  a.m.,  covering 

Meteoroloo^ical  and  Auroral  Notes       197 

stars  in  the  head  of  Hydra,  Canis  Minoi'-,  head  of 
Monocei^os  and  body  of  Orion.  Luminous  spots  al- 
ternating at  ten-minute  intervals  in  the  south-east. 
At  3:30  the  arch  covers  the  hind  quarters  of  Leo 
Major,  Sextans,  neck  of  Hydra,  hind-quarters  and 
limb  of  Monoceros  and  upper  portion  of  Argo,  from 
which  at  3:40  a.m.,  a  bright  light  diffuses  itself,  the 
entire  arch  gradually  disappearing  shortly  afterwards. 

Between  ten  a.m.  and  10:12  a.m.  an  evanescent 
auroral  arch,  coY^rmg  Pleiades,  Perseus,  Camelopardus, 
Polaris,  Ursa  Minor,  Draco,  and  Herc2iles,  revolves 
as  a  vast  semicircle  to  Atcriga,  head  of  the  Lynx, 
Ursa  Major,  Corona  Borealis,  and  the  head  of  Sei^pens. 

2gth. — 9:50  P.M.  auroral  beams,  twenty  degrees  in 
height,  visible  in  the  south-west,  shift  rapidly  eastward, 
and  seem  to  cross,  in  stately  file  by  means  of  a  bridge 
of  dark,  low-lying  stratus  clouds,  the  ice  and  waters  of 
Inglefield  Gulf  in  the  south,  and  to  terminate  in  the 
south-east,  covering,  as  they  march,  J/<?;2/§(2r  and  J/zV^^ 
{Alpha  and  Theta  Ceti),  belt  of  Orion  {Delta,  Epsilon, 
Zeta)  and  Procyon  {Alpha  Canis  Minoris). 

10:05  P-^-  These  form  themselves  into  an  arch 
from  Orion  to  Procyon,  and  extending  thence  in  close 
array  to  the  limbs  of  Gemini. 

10:18  P.M.  Nearly  vanish,  but  almost  immediately 

10  :  24  P.M.  Disappears,  but  succeeded  by  a  single 
ghost-like  tower  of  light  stalking  from  the  south-west 
towards  Rigel{Beta  Orioitis),  and  finally,  at  10:30  P.M., 
dissipating  itself  with  a  hazy  group  of  beams  near  the 
lower  limbs  of  Orion. 

jotk. — 7:55  A.M.  brings  us  a  gentle  breeze  from  the 
north-east  and  a  temperature  of  -19°  F.  Stretching 
gracefully  across  the  sky  from  north-west  to  south-east, 
hangs  a  complete  auroral  curtain,  its  light  somewhat 
dimmed  by  the  reflected  light  of  the  moon,  just  now 

198        Northward  over  the  **  Great  Ice" 

sunk  beneath  the  horizon  in  the  south-west,  and  the 
refracted  hght  of  the  slowly  returning  sun.  Gemini, 
Cancel^,  Leo  Minor,  Canes  Venatici,  Bootes,  Serpens, 
Hercules,  and  Ophiuchus  combine  to  agitate  it  into 
greater  intensity  and  richer  contrast  against  the  clear 
dark-blue  of  the  northern  heavens. 

But  now  the  silvery  curtain-folds  knot  themselves 
into  a  series  of  electric  balls  suspended  in  the  same 
arch  order.  One  of  them  descends,  coverinor  the  head 
oi  Leo  Major,  which  also  now  receives  a  meteoric  arrow 
direct  from  Bootes.  A  second  mass  is  seen  resting 
upon  the  rump  of  Ursa  Major,  filling  the  bowl  of  the 
Big  Dipper,  and  rising  in  luminous  fermentation  to 
the  lips  of  Ursa  Minor. 

Now  to  the  south-east  see  that  reddish  tinge.  To 
the  north-west  behold  the  delicate  interminoflinof  of 
red  and  green.  Yet  look  still  farther  beyond  yon 
rocky  ridge,  past  the  awful  chasms  of  Bowdoin  Glacier, 
over  and  upon  the  silent  fields  of  the  eternal  ice-cap — 
what  spectacle  rises  there  /  A  bright  spot,  a  fiery  mass, 
a  gorgeous  tabernacle  of  colour,  red  and  green,  it 
grows,  elevating  itself  from  the  low-circling  Gemini 
to  Canes  Venatici,  a  coruscating  semi-arch  of  splendour. 
8:15  A.M.  arrives,  and  this  too  has  crumbled,  all  save 
a  grotesque  patch  resting  upon  Cancer,  whence  there 
presently  protrudes  a  long  arm,  reaching  even  to  Po- 
laris, and  soon  followed  by  a  second,  grasping  finally 
Cor  Caroli.  Here  imagination  at  once  associates 
these  protuberances  with  the  claws  of  the  celestial 
Crab,  greatly  elongated. 

We  note  9:30  o'clock.  Form  vanishes  ;  distortion 
succeeds.  Broken  shafts,  walls,  columns,  and  heaps 
of  the  electric  debris  lie  scattered  where  former  sym- 
metry prevailed.  Slowly  northward,  past  Polaris, 
even  to  Cassiopeia,  are  these  evanescent  and  scattered 
ruins  carried. 

Meteorological  and  Auroral  Notes       199 

Meanwhile  the  Gemini,  undiscouraged,  have  con- 
structed a  second  house  of  purple  and  scarlet  and 
pushed  it  likewise  onward  and  upward,  only  to  see  it 
fall  rapidly  into  destruction  as  the  watch  notes  10:50 


joth. — We  have  just  "turned  in"  at  11:30  p.m., 
when  Mr.  Lee  calls  us  to  view  a  scene  of  weird 
grandeur.  A  double  aurora,  parallel  arches  spanning 
the  heavens  from  south  to  north  :  the  easternmost 
arch  springing  from  the  feet  of  Gemini,  crossing 
Auriga,  Cassiopeia,  and  Cepheus,  and  resting  finally 
upon  Lyra;  the  westernmost,  o'ervaulting  Taurus, 
Algol  Per sei,  Andro7neda,  Lacerta,  and  Cygnus. 

The  clouds  afire  /  we  exclaim,  as  the  electric  flames 
flash  upon  and  among  the  forms  of  black  stratus  clouds, 
now  scudding  away  in  scattered  planes  before  a  brisk 
vapour-laden  wind  from  the  south-east. 

y a?i2iary,  iSg^. 

Observation  of  auroras  as  follows  : 

2d,  7-10  A.M.,  6-8  P.M.  ;  3d,  6-7  A.M.  ;  4th,  5-7  a.m.  ; 
1 2th,  4  P.M.,  6  P.M.,  9  P.M. -1 2  M.  ;  13th,  12  midnight 
to  5  A.M.  ;  27th,  5-6  A.M. — or  on  twenty-six  different 

2d. — At  6:15  P.M.  of  January  2d,  our  nation's  Capitol 
and  the  Agricultural  Building  at  the  World's  Colum- 
bian Exposition  are  vividly  brought  to  mind  by  the 
appearance,  in  the  south,  of  an  aurora  taking  the  form 
and  proportions  of  the  main  pediments  to  those  struct- 
ures, the  figure  of  speech  in  the  second  instance  being 
intensified  by  the  tympanum  ornamentation  formed 
over  the  constellations,  Taurus,  Aries,  Pisces,  and  Pe- 
gasus— the  Bull,  the  Ram,  the  Fishes,  and  the  Winged 

Five,  — six,  — seven  minutes  pass,  and  three  parallel 
arches  succeed  one  another  in  o'erspanning  the  south- 

200        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

ern  heavens.  6:23  by  the  watch,  a  bright  nebulous 
space  surrounds  the  pole  star.  But  now,  between 
this  and  the  third  arch,  a  fourth,  even  more  radiant 
than  the  rest,  bids  us  exclaim,  "  The  Golden  Door  ! " 
as  we  recall  the  feature  of  the  now  world-famed 
Transportation  Building. 

Beams,  "patches,"  striae  of  light  ensue.  At  6:45 
the  entire  southern  half  of  the  heavens  is  illuminated, 
the  rays  converging  towards  the  zenith.  Northward 
moves  this  spacious  semi-dome,  meeting  finally  a 
fifth  arch  and  countless  beams  now  quickly  evolving 
from  the  vaulted  north,  till,  the  rays  meeting  in  the 
zenith,  the  vast  expanse  of  heaven  becomes  a  corona 
of  glory.  Meanwhile,  a  cold  north-east  wind  blows 
and  meteors  dart  at  intervals  from  the  constellation 
Pegasits,  till,  at  eight  o'clock,  the  display  ceases  with 
the  decadence  of  auroral  beams  which  shoot  upward 
fifteen  decrees  above  the  north  arc  of  the  horizon. 

jd. — The  ushering  of  the  Old  Year  out  and  the  New 
Year  in,  has  certainly  been  attended  with  auroral  dis- 
plays remarkable  for  the  latitude  and  longitude  of 
Anniversary  Lodge,  alike  for  duration,  variety  of 
form,   and  beauty  of  colouring. 

At  seven  a.m.,  from  Sexta7is  to  Sei'Pens  (to  Umtk, 
Alpha  Serpentis)  curves  an  arch  composed  of  the 
union  of  three  luminous  segments,  the  central  one 
covering;  Coma  Berenices,  and  the  rio-ht  or  northern 
wing  of  Virgo  ;  the  other  two,  the  places  above  desig- 
nated, while  from  each  bright  mass  there  radiate 
upward,  for  a  space  of  fifteen  or  twenty  degrees,  con- 
verging rays  of  colour,  the  whole  suggesting  swinging 
censers.  Unconnected  with  these  there  soon  appears 
a  fourth,  suspended  just  above  Cancer,  now  in  the  west. 

Still  higher  and  quite  in  our  zenith,  uniting  Lyra, 
head  of  Draco,  Ursa  Minor  and  the  space  thence  to  the 
right  arm  of  Auriga,  is  one  broad  belt  of  silvery  light. 

Meteorological  and  Auroral  Notes       201 

At  7  :40  by  the  clock,  we  note  the  fall  of  a  meteor 
in  the  vicinity  of  the  Sickle  and  the  birth  of  nebulous 
clouds  in  various  localities  of  the  clearest  blue. 

Unlike  the  movement  of  the  aurorae  heretofore  de- 
scribed, in  this  instance  the  general  motion  of  the 
swaying  masses  is  towards  the  south-west.  A  gentle 
wind  meanwhile  blows  from  the  opposite  quarter.  Yet 
we  must  not  conclude  that  the  propulsion  of  the  au- 
rora in  this  particular  direction  is  due  to  this  circum- 

We  successively  note  8:30  and  9:30  o'clock,  at  which 
times  the  display  is  still  visible  as  a  sheet  of  fine  rays 
in  the  west  and  as  a  nebulous  haze  in  the  south,  but 
finally  disappearing  with  the  decadence  at  ten  p.m.  of 
a  nebulous  cloud  just  above  the  northern  horizon. 

12th. — 6:30-6:40  P.M.  :  Faint  auroral  beams  in  the 
south-east  generally  below  Taurus.  Cloudy  ;  wind 
from  south-east. 

Again,  nine  p.m.  :  Observed  auroral  fires  in  the  south, 
south-west,  west,  and  north-west,  covering  Orion,  Cettis, 
Pegasus,  and  space  below  ^j/r^^;,  spreading  northward 
and  limiting  itself  as  a  vast  twisted  roll  of  light  from 
L,yra  and  covering  Draco,  Ursa  Major,  and  Gemini, 
the  roll  at  ten  p.m.  resembling  in  its  northern  half  a 
deeply  serrated  band  of  light.  Five  minutes  later  it 
gathers  itself  into  huge  balls  of  light  having  a  puffing, 
rushinor  motion  southward  as  of  luminous  clouds  of 

We  note,  10:35:  Nearly  vanished,  very  faint  haze 
in  the  west  of  zenith.  Eleven  p.m.  Again  as  a  band 
across  Gemini,  Ursa  Major,  and  Draco.  Twelve  mid- 
night, continues  ;  one  a.m.,  faint ;  two  a.m.,  faint  in  the 
north-west  ;  three  a.m.,  faint  in  the  south  and  south- 
east ;  four  a.m.,  faint  in  south-west.  Clear;  north-east 
wind.  Five  a.m.,  faint  in  the  south-east ;  six  a.m.,  faint 
in  south-east  and  south  ;  seven  a.m.,  faint  in  south- 

202       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

east,  south,  and  south-west.  At  eight  and  nine  a.m. 
still  faintly  visible.  Ten  a.m.,  not  visible  ;  10:30  a.m., 
reappears  as  parallel  cream-coloured  bands  from  the 
south  to  the  north,  in  the  zenith  and  west.  Eleven 
A.M.  :  Visible  as  a  faint  stream  of  light  from  the  south, 
northward  past  the  zenith.  Twelve  noon,  faint ;  one 
P.M.,  not  visible  ;  two  p.m.,  again  faintly  visible  ;  three 
P.M.,  faint;  four  p.m.,  faint  and  having  fan  shape  in 
the  south.  Five  P.M.  :  Faintly  covering  Z,ji/?2-^',  Cainelo- 
pardus  and  Cepheus,  thereafter  gradually  disappearing. 

22d. — Washington's  Birthday  remembered  inthought 
and  speech  as  the  writer  journeyed  by  sledge  across  the 
frozen  surface  of  McCormick  Bay  ;  celebrated  in  colour 
and  grandeur  as  an  aurora  flashed  across  the  sky  from 
south-west  to  north-east !  Now  dancing,  now  darting, 
and,  shuttle-like,  frequently  alternating  in  direction, 
the  otherwise  clear  sky  is  resplendent.  A  light  north- 
east wind  blows  and  night  prevails ;  nevertheless, 
seemingly  in  a  very  low  atmosphere  and  extending 
generally  over  the  heavens  in  irregularly  shaped  cur- 
tains of  folds  and  particularly  noticeable  from  Taumis, 
across  Uisa  MajoT-  to  Bootes,  this  brilliant  display 
continues  from  6:30  p.m.  to  ten  p.m. 

2^tJi. — Returning  from  the  above-mentioned  sledge 
journey  the  writer,  with  dog  driver  Sipsu,  had  crossed 
Robertson  Bay  during  the  day  and  McCormick  Bay  the 
following  nio-ht,  having  to  face  a  blindino-  snow-drift 
during  the  early  morning  hours.  Darkness  and  un- 
certainty of  way  were  our  lot  as  we  at  last  arrived  at 
the  head  of  the  bay  and  hesitated  to  cross  the  wide 
and  numerous  tide  cracks  in  the  ice.  Suddenly,  an 
aurora,  certainly  of  great  beauty  and  power  of  light, 
appeared  in  the  S.  S.  W.  and  gave  us  illumination 
sufficient  to  deliver  us  from  our  perplexity.      The  stars 

Meteoroloo^^ical  and  Auroral  Notes       203 

were  invisible  by  reason  of  the  falling  snow  and  we 
could  only  guess  at  the  time, — probably  six  a.m. 

2'jth. — 5:10  A.M.  to  7  A.M.  The  night  has  been  far 
spent  in  travelling  by  sledge  across  Inglefield  Gulf. 
Cloud  and  space  glow.  At  the  lodge,  bright  auroral 
beams  were  reported  over  the  southern  sky  from  an 
elevation  of  45°  to  the  zenith.  At  six  a.m.,  the  pheno- 
menon took  the  form  of  two  parallel  bows  extending 
in  a  true  east  and  west  direction,  the  brighter  one 
passing  nearly  through  the  zenith,  the  lower  one  to 
within  30°  above  the  southern  horizon. 

March,   iSg^.. 

Aurorae  :  The  light  of  the  arctic  day  too  strong  for 
determination  of  their  existence.  Still,  on  a  few  oc- 
casions, during  the  earlier  days  of  the  month,  what 
seemed  to  be  auroral  light  was  observed  on  the  Inland 

E.   B.   Baldwin. 





Farewell  to  the  Falcon — My  Program — Along  the  Arctic  Coast  in 
A  Whale-Boat— Hut  of  the  Advance  Boat  Party— My  Eskimo  Crew— 
"  Land  of  Noogli  " —  Ancient  Inhabitants —  Barden  Bay  —  The  Nale- 
gaksoah — A  Wild  Sunset. 

Born  September  12,  1893,  at  Anniversary  Lodge,  77°  40'  N.  Lat. 




HEN    on    the 

28th  of  August, 
1894,  I  pulled 
away  in  my  whale-boat 
General  Wistar  from  the 
side  of  the  ill-fated  whaler 
Falcon^  lying-to  in  Smith 
Sound,  off  the  glistening 
wall  of  the  Petowik  Gla- 
cier, my  feelings  were  not 
of  the  cheeriest. 

Yet  I  had  no  reason  to 
think  that  xv  chances  of  carrying  out  my  cherished 
plans  -ere,  .^arring  unavoidable  accidents,  other  than 

Though  the  Falcon  was  separating  me  from  those 
near  and  dear  to  me,  she  was  carrying  them  to  safety 
and  comfort,  and  she  was  leaving  me  with  a  small 
but  experienced,  effective,  homogeneous,  and  loyal 

In  the  boat  with  me  was  my  coloured  man,  Henson, 
a  dark-skinned,  kinky-haired  child  of  the  Equator,  and 
five  of  my  faithful,  trusty  Eskimo  allies,  dusky  child- 

^  Less  than  two  months  later  the  Falcon,  after  landing  my  party  in  Philadelphia, 
was  lost  with  all  on  board,  while  returning  from  that  port  to  St.  John's. 


2o8       Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  " 

ren  of  the  Pole.  Nearly  two  hundred  miles  north, 
at  the  lodge,  at  the  head  of  Bowdoin  Bay,  was  my 
other  companion,  brave,  loyal  Lee,  awaiting  my  re- 
turn. At  the  lodge  with  him  was  an  ample  supply 
of  all  the  essentials  of  life,  except  meat,  requisite  to 
carry  us  through  the  winter  and  early  spring. 

Cached  on  the  "  Great  Ice,"  at  various  distances  of 
from  twenty-six  to  one  hundred  and  twenty-eight 
miles  from  the  lodge,  were  all  except  a  few  minor 


supplies    needed    for    the  white    march    across    the 
"  Great  Ice  "  the  following  spring  and  summer. 

My  general  program  was,  as  soon  as  I  should  have 
regained  the  lodge,  to  proceed  with  some  of  my 
native  allies  to  the  deer  pastures  of  Kangerdlooksoah, 
and  draw  upon  them  for  our  own  meat  supply  for 
the  coming  winter ;  then  levy  tribute  on  the  walrus 
at  their  feeding-grounds  in  Omenak  Sound,  for  my 
winter  supply  of  dog  food.  After  that  I  would  visit 
those  of  the  caches  upon  the  "Great  Ice"  located 
within  a  distance  of  fifty  miles  from  the  lodge,  dig 
them  out,  rearrange  them  again  upon  the  surface  of 

Boat  Voyage  209 

the  snow,  and  re-erect  any  signals  that  might  have 
been  broken  off  or  blown  down  by  the  wind. 

I  should  then  endeavour  to  pass  the  winter,  leisurely 
working  upon  our  equipment  for  the  long  sledge 
journey  ;  exercising  the  utmost  care  to  keep  ourselves 
in  physical  condition  ;  and  conserving  every  energy, 
physical  and  mental,  for  a  fight  to  the  finish,  when 
once  again  we  attacked  the  "Great  Ice." 

All  the  time  I  recognised  two  eventualities  which 
might  defeat  everything.     The  first  was  the  breaking 


out  of  the  piblockto,  or  epidemic  dog  madness,  among 
the  native  dogs,  which,  if  the  attack  was  serious, 
might  almost  exterminate  the  animals  of  the  tribe, 
and  render  it  impossible  for  me  to  obtain  dogs  for  the 
journey  across  the  ice-cap.  Second,  the  arrival  to 
either  one  of  us  of  that  end  which,  in  the  words  of  brave 
Horatio,  of  that  other  three,  "comes  to  each  man 
soon  or  late." 

I  placed  the  latter  possibility  second  intentionally, 
because  without  dogs  it  would  be  folly  to  think  of  at- 
tempting the  conquest  of  the  "  Great  Ice,"  while  the 

2IO        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

reduction  of  our  number  to  two  would  not  necessarily 
mean  the  same. 

The  journey  to  Independence  Bay  had  once  before 
been  made  by  two  men,  and  there  seemed  no  rea- 
son why  it  should  not  be  made  by  the  same  number 

As  I  stood  in  the  stern-sheets  of  my  boat  watching 
the  black  form  of  the  Falcon,    her    propeller  began 


again  its  monotonous  pulsations,  she  swung  on  her 
heel,  gradually  gathered  headway,  and  threading  her 
way  among  the  bergs  and  floes,  disappeared  in  the  ice 
of  the  southern  horizon,  bearing  those  dear  to  me 
south  to  the  lands  of  the  sun, 

I    fancy   it  was    an    impr'essive    sight  to   those   on 
board  to  see  my  little  boat  dashing  away  northward 

Boat  Voyage  2 1 1 

into  the  rapidly  gatliering  gloom  of  the  arctic  winter 

The  setting  of  the  picture  was  appropriate.  The 
long,  crystalline  blue  wall  of  Petowik  directly  abreast, 
with  the  slope  of  the  mighty  ice-stream  above  it ; 
northward,  in  declining  perspective,  Mt.  Agony,  Red 
Mountain,  and  their  companions,  buttresses  of  a 
savage,  precipitous  shore,  terminating  in  distant  Cape 


Athol,  with  Wolstenholm  Island  off-lying;  southward 
the  sharp  point  of  "Jenna"  (Conical  Rock)  rising 
from  the  water ;  and  beyond  it  the  black  fire-born 
coast  cliffs  that  end  in  Cape  York. 

As  I  turned   in   the   opposite  direction,    northward 

'  "  As  vision  failed  and  lineaments  became  indistinct,  our  last  view  was  of  the 
tall,  erect,  fur-clad  explorer,  standing  amidships,  and  again  by  the  signal  code, 
bidding  us  good-bye  and  good  fortune,  as  his  prow  was  pointed  northward  and 

"  Half  an  hour  later,  v/e  saw  a  white  speck  on  the  dark  expanse  of  waters, 
telling  us  that  the  boat  had  set  her  sail  to  the  favouring  breeze,  and  that  all  was 
going  well  with  her  gallant  party." — From  letter-  by  H.  L.  Bridgman. 

212       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

towards  the  gloom  of  the  coming  arctic  night,  for 
which  my  boat  was  heading,  my  eyes  rested  upon  my 
Eskimo  crew,  puhing  with  ah  the  strength  of  their 
iron-muscled  backs  for  the  shelter  of  the  bleak  rocks 
of  Cape  Athol.  A  strange,  wild,  fur-clad  crew,  yet 
sturdy  and  faithful, 

Kardah,  or  "  Three-ply,"  as  we  called  him  because 
of  his  habit  of  repeating  everything  three  times  ; 
Ingopahdo,  or  "Freckles,"  the  father  of  a  healthy 
family  of  six ;  quiet,  honest  Kahdahsu  ;    round-faced 


Akpudisoahho,  and  faithful  old  Nooktah, — the  latter 
father  of  "  Miss  Bill,"  the  Eskimo  girl  who  accom- 
panied Mrs.  Peary  home,  and  son  of  Koolootoonah, 
the  old  chief  of  Netiulumi,  who  gave  the  boat  party 
from  the  Advance  such  a  fright  by  an  alleged  plot  to 
murder  them. 

With  an  American  leader,  an  African  coxswain,  and 
an  Eskimo  crew,  I  had  the  Equator,  the  Temperate 
Zone,  and  the  Pole,  all  compressed  into  a  space  of 
twenty-eight  feet. 

Boat  Voyage 


The  brief  arctic  summer  was  at  an  end,  and  the  Hfe- 
less  grey  sky  hanging  low  over  the  black,  snow-capped 
cliffs  of  the  iron-bound  shore  and  the  icy  waves  of  the 
North  Water,  made  my  crew  as  anxious  as  myself  to 
reach  the  lodge  at  the  earliest  possible  moment,  and 
lessen  the  chance  of  beino-  caugrht  in  one  of  the  violent 
storms  which  frequently  mark  this  season  of  the  year. 

The  morning  calm  freshened  to  a  stiff  off-shore 
breeze,  and  shaking  out  our  sail,  the  General  Wistar 


gathered  fresh  speed,  and  went  dashing  merrily  through 
the  racing  whitecaps  towards  Cape  Athol. 

It  was  a  striking  coincidence  that,  forty  years  (less 
half  an  hour)  before,  the  "  boat  party  "  had  left  Kane's 
ship  the  Advance  in  Rensselaer  Harbour,  in  an  attempt 
to  fight  their  way  along  this  same  coast  to  Upernavik. 
But  that  party  was  bound  south,  in  retreat,  while  I 
was  bound  north,  to  commence  a  new  campaign.  The 
coincidence  was  more  strongly  accentuated  by  the 
fact  that  my  first  landing,  twenty  hours  after  separat- 
ing from  the  Falcon,  was  at  the  place  where  that  party 
had  been  stopped  by  the  ice,  and  where  they  were 

2  14        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

obliged  to  build  a  small  stone  shelter,  in  which  they 
lived  some  three  months,  until  forced  by  starvation 
to  return  to  the  ship. 

The  tumbling  whitecaps  were  anything  but  soothing 
to  the  nerves  of  my  dusky  crew,  as  evidenced  by  the 
grey  pallor  of  their  faces,  and  they  were  more  than 


pleased  when,  forced  by  off-lying  ice  to  run  in  close 
under  the  shore,  we  lost  the  wind,  and  they  were 
obliged  to  run  out  the  oars  and  raise  Paddy's 
"  ash  breeze." 

We  reached  the  bare,  grey,  wave-  and  ice-worn  rocks 
of  Cape  Athol  at  1:30  p.m.,  and  climbing  to  an  eleva- 
tion of  one  hundred  feet  or  more  to  reconnoitre  Wol- 

Boat  Voyage 


stenholm  Sound,  I  saw  a  wide  stream  of  rather  closely 
packed  ice  lying  between  the  cape  and  Saunders 
Island,  and  extending  out  against  Wolstenholm 
Island.  As  the  only  way  to  avoid  this  ice  was  to 
make  a  detour  entirely  around  the  latter  island,  and 
force  our  way  through  another  perhaps  equally  or 
more  difficult   stream   outside,  I  determined   to   push 


straight  on  for  Saunders  Island  and  not  stop  until 
compelled  to.  The  now  strongly  running  ebb-tide 
would,  I  knew,  assist  us.  Descending  to  the  boat,  by 
the  time  we  reached  the  ice  the  tidal  effect  was  al- 
ready being  felt  in  loosening  the  pressure  of  the  pans, 
and  as  we  advanced  our  progress  became  easier,  until 
finally  we  emerged  into  placid,  ice-free  water  off 
Saunders  Island. 

2i6        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Pulling  along  the  outer  shore  of  this  island  over  a 
lazy,  glassy  swell  from  the  south-west,  we  passed  the 
site  of  the,  for  several  years,  unoccupied  settlement  of 
"Akpani,"  and  reached,  late  in  the  afternoon,  the 
great  bird  cliffs  of  Saunders  Island,  where  I  stopped 
a  few  hours  to  shoot  some  of  the  looms  or  guillemots 
which  breed  there  in  countless  thousands. 

There  were  numerous  young  looms,  or  akpah,  and 
kittiwakes  here,  many  of  the  former  swimming  with 
their  mothers,  and  emitting  an  almost  continuous 
shrill,  tremulous  whistle,  while  the  latter  were  all  on 
the  nests,  some  of  which  were  so  low  down  as  to  be 
reached  from  the  boat. 

The  northern  end  of  Saunders  Island  is  a  huge, 
semi-detached  mass  of  rock,  a  thousand  feet  or  more 
in  height,  called  by  the  natives  Tooloogsoah  (Rock 
of  the  Great  Raven). 

At  8:30  P.M.,  after  landing  my  crew  a  few  minutes 
for  water  on  a  flat  berg,  I  left  the  base  of  towering 
Tooloogsoah,  in  whose  sea-hewn  caverns  the  blue- 
green  swells  were  roaring  sleepily,  and  pulled  away 
northward  for  the  "  land  of  Nooo^li." 

Before  us  lay  the  wide  and  usually  wind-swept 
mouth  of  Wolstenholm  Sound,  which,  with  its  floating 
ice  and  swift  tidal  currents,  is  under  unfavourable 
circumstances  a  disagreeable  stretch  of  navio-ation. 
Fortunately  now  it  was  very  calm  and  not  a  piece  of 
ice  was  visible,  only  a  fleet  of  great  bergs,  against 
whose  polished  sides  the  glassy  swell  rose  and  fell 
languidly.  Ahead  of  us  in  the  blue  distance  rose 
snow-capped  Oobloodahingwah,  and  black  Pooeen- 
yah  in  the  arms  of  its  circling  glacier  ;  with  the  low 
"  land  of  Noogli,"  land  of  the  ignimttt,  the  pre- 
cious fire-stone  of  the  natives,  at  their  feet,  invisible 
below  the  horizon.  On  our  right  lay  the  placid  ex- 
panse of  the   Sound,  reaching  eastward  to  the  mot- 

Boat  Voyage 

2  17' 

tied  Nuna  Kahlilowah,  and  into  the  cliff-  and  glacier- 
prisoned  depths  of  Granville  Bay. 

To  our  left,  far  out  on  the  western  horizon  floated 
the  outlines  of  the  sombre  Carey  Islands,  with  their 
tragic  secret  of  the  fate  of  young  Bjorling  and  his 
brave  companions. 

Behind  us,  the  vivid  red-  and  yellow-banded  cliffs  of 
Saunders  Island,  a  Titan  agate  set  in  lapis-lazuli. 

Long  before  we  had  crossed  the  Sound,  the  roar 
of  the  heavy  North-Water  swell  breakinor  in  foamino- 


thunder  upon  the  low,  iron  shore  of  Noogli,  came 
out  throuo-h  the  calm  nio-ht-air  to  meet  us.  No  land- 
ing  was  possible  until  we  reached  the  little  bifurcated 
inlet  known  by  the  natives  as  Tessuissak  (the  Lake), 
a  few  miles  above  Noogf-li.  PuUino-  into  this  throuMi 
a  labyrinth  of  half-submerged  boulders,  we  found  at  the 
head  of  the  northern  arm  a  tiny  sheltered  bight, 
where  at  4:30  a.m.  of  the  29th  we  landed  for  food 
and  rest. 

After    our    simple   supper  (or  breakfast?)  of   salt 
beef,  biscuit,  and  tea.  Matt  and  four  of  my  huskies  fell 

2i8        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

asleep  lying  about  the  fire,  while  I  went  with  Nook- 
tah  westward  across  the  low  land  to  the  seaward  side, 
and  examined  the  remains  of  the  hut  built  by  the  boat 
party  from  the  Advance  in  September,  1854.  It  was 
the  first  time  a  white  man  had  looked  upon  the  place 
since  that  party  left  it  in  December  of  the  same  year. 
The  inclosure  between  the  low  stone  walls  was  about 


Hayes,  1854. 

9x15  feet,  and  the  appearance  of  the  walls,  and  the 
pieces  of  wood,  iron,  cloth,  crockery,  etc.,  in  and 
about  them,  hardly  looked  as  if  they  had  been  there 
forty  years. 

The  hut  is  not  over  a  mile  above  the  entrance  to 
the  inlet,  and  is  but  a  short  distance  from  high-water 
level.  The  spray  from  heavy  seas  reaches  it.  Poppies 
and  purple  flowers  were  blooming  near. 

Boat  Voyage  219 

On  the  way  back  to  the  boat  and  about  half-way 
across  the  strip  of  land,  I  found  the  bones  of  a  whale 
{argwo),  and  Nooktah  told  me  that  generations  ago 
they  were  abundant  here,  and  that  years  ago  one  was 
seen  off  Cape  York,  but  that  now  they  are  all  gone. 

From  a  neighbouring  ridge  of  cobble  and  coarse 
gravel  a  hundred  and  twenty-five  feet  above  sea-level, 
the  eye  commands  the  whole  of  this  peculiar  strip  of 
low  foreshore,  lying  at  the  foot  of  the  mountains 
from  Wolstenholm  Sound  to  Cape  Parry. 


To  the  south,  Pooeenyah  rears  its  black  sides  from 
the  centre  of  the  lonimut  Glacier  standinp;  p;uard  over 
the  precious  fire-stone  and  the  "land  of  Noogli."  One 
arm  of  the  glacier  bends  southward  to  the  little  cove 
just  inside  the  point  of  Noogli,  and  here,  in  a  lime- 
stone escarpment  fronting  the  glacier,  is  the  ignimut 
or  fire-stone,  a  vein  of  pyrites,  which  for  unnumbered 
generations  has  furnished  the  natives  of  this  region 
with  the  means  of  obtainino-  fire. 

The  other  arm  bends  northward  towards  the  inlet 
in  which  my  boat  was  moored. 

2  20       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Eastward,  the  narrow,  shallow  southern  arm  of 
Booth  Sound  reaches  up  a  valley,  towards  the  head  of 
which  sweep  down  two  or  three  glaciers.  Up  this 
valley,  over  the  glaciers  and  across  the  ice-cap,  is  a 
trail  to  Barden  Bay  and  Netiulumi. 

Northward  is  land-locked  Booth  Sound,  with  the 
well-remembered  Anoah  Glacier  flowing  down  to  its 
north-eastern  angle,  and  the  remarkable  Bell  Rock 
risinof  from  its  centre.  This  Bell  Rock  is  the  laro^est 
and  most  striking  of  those  sharp-pointed  rocks  rising 
directly  out  of  the  sea,  of  which  there  are  several  in 
this  region,  as  Dalrymple  and  Conical  Rocks,  and  the 


Little  Matterhorn.     Ail  are  known  by  the  natives  as 

ill  " 


Bevond  Booth  Sound,  the  orrim,  sable  bastion  of 
Cape  Parry  closes  the  view. 

We  left  the  little  bight  at  noon,  and  after  pulling 
out  of  the  inlet  had  a  light  southerly  air,  to  which  we 
spread  our  sail,  thus  assisting  the  oars  very  materially 
as  w^e  resumed  our  northward  course  towards  Cape 

While  passing  the  mouth  of  Booth  Sound,  my  na- 
tives told  me  of  the  burial-place  of  a  long-past  gener- 
ation   of    Eskimos    on    the    northern    point    of    the 

Boat  Voyage  221 

entrance,  and  of  igloos  of  the  same  period  near  the 
shore  a  short  distance  farther  north.  Just  below  Cape 
Parry,  Nooktah  pointed  out  the  sites  of  ancient  stone 
igloos,  and  told  of  their  being  inhabited  years  and 
years  ago  by  very  large  men  who  came  from  a  distant 
land  in  the  west,  and  ate  many  of  the  Eskimos  (!  !), 
then  went  away  again. 

The  frowning  black  cliffs  of  Cape  Parry,  Kangah- 
suk  (the  Great  Cape)  of  the  natives,  was  rounded  at. 

Cape  Parry. 

7:40  P.M.,  and,  pulling  in  the  teeth  of  the  fresh  breeze 
which  came  rushino-  out  of  Whale  Sound,  we  arrived 
at  Netiulumi  late  in  the  eveniuQ^.  The  rock  forma- 
tion  at  Cape  Parry,  crystalline  superimposed  upon 
stratified,  is  the  same  as  that  of  Bell  Rock,  and  the 
latter  might  almost  be  a  fragment  of  the  former,  sun- 
dered by  some  cataclysm  and  swept  southward  to  its 
present  site. 

222        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

When  half-way  across  Barden  Bay,  two  natives, 
Myah  and  Aletta,  met  us  in  their  kayaks.  They 
had  been  across  the  glacier  to  Booth  Sound  for  deer, 
and  each  had  upon  the  after-part  of  his  kayak  a  deer- 
skin and  saddle  of  venison.  They  kept  us  company 
as  we  approached  the  village. 

A  heavy  ground-swell  was  rolling  in  from  the  North 


Water,  raising  such  a  surf  along  the  rocky  shore,  that 
we  could  land  in  but  one  place,  a  bit  of  partially  shel- 
tered beach  a  few  rods  up  the  bay  from  the  village. 

Here,  after  I  had  shouted  instructions  to  the  crowd 
of  men  gathered  on  the  beach,  my  steering  oar  held 
the  Geiiei^al  straio-ht  to  her  course  while  the  ash  blades 
drove  her  swiftly  in  upon  the  foaming  crest  of  a  breaker, 
and  the  moment  the  bow  touched  the  beach,  half  a 

Boat  Voyage 


hundred  willing  hands,  led  by  Kyogwito  the  Nalegak- 
soah  in  the  frock-coat  and  slouch  hat  which  I  had 
given  him,  seized  painter  and  gunwale  and  dragged 
the  boat  up  beyond  the  reach  of  the  next  breaker. 
Then  she  was  shored  up  on  an  even  keel,  and  Ingo- 
pahdo  kindled  a  fire  against  the  rocks  which  en- 
closed the  beach,  while  I  distributed  biscuit  among 
the  natives,  and  purchased  the  deerskins  and  venison 


of  our  escorts,   for  a  couple  of  hatfuls  of  the  same 

I  was  much  amused  by  the  actions  of  my  friend  the 
Nalegaksoah.  The  winter  before  I  had  given  him  a 
Prince-Albert  coat,  a  black  sombrero,  and  a  sabre 
bayonet,  and  with  them  bestowed  upon  him  the  title 
of  Nalegaksoah  (Great  Chief),  and  now,  after  he  had 
liquidated  the  claims  of  hospitality  by  helping  to  drag 
my  boat  through  the  surf,  and  had  seen  me  and  my 
crew  safely  landed,  he  climbed  in  solitary  state  up  the 
bank  and  sat  there  in  his  royal  garments,  till  I  invited 

^24       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

him  to  descend  and  accept  my  hand  and  a  few  hat- 
fuls  of  biscuit. 

It  was  a  picturesque  scene  :  a  crowd  of  natives  about 
the  boat,  leaning  over  the  gunwale,  and  looking  at 
everything  with  eager  interest ;  another  group  about 
the  yellow  flames  of  the  fire  ;  while  still  others  were 
perched  upon  the  rocks  that  walled  the  beach. 

While  all  this  was  in  progress,  southward,  above 
the  death-pale  ice-cap,  hung  dense  blue-black  clouds  ; 
northward,  across  the  turbulent  Sound,  the  splendour 
of  one  of  those  wild  sunset  afterglows,  regal  with 
savage  colour,  such  as  can  be  seen  only  in  the  Arctic 
regions  at  the  end  of  the  brief  summer,  flamed  through 
the  gateway  between  Herbert  and  Northumberland 
Islands,  bringing  the  gloomy,  foreboding  day  to  a  close  ; 
and  all  around  the  hoarse  shore  of  the  bay  sounded 
the  intermittent  roar  of  the  surL 


BOAT    VOYAGE    FALCON   TO    LODGE    {Continued). 

Death  in  an  Eskimo  Village — Happy  Natives — A  Glacier  Episode- 
Heavy  Weather — Olriks  Bay — The  Anoahtaksoah — The  Deer  Hunt 
— School  of  Narwhal — Across  the  Sound — Ice-Blockade  in  Bowdoin 
Bay — Back  to  the  Lodge. 


BOAT    VOYAGE    FALCON  TO    LODGE    {Cotttinued). 

^    ^         Itti 

E  left  Netiulumi 
130  A.M.  for 
;bloo,  and 
though  the  flood-tide  was  in 
our  favour,  the  head-wind, 
which  we  met  as  soon  as 
we  got  out  of  the  bay, 
made  the  pull  a  long  and 
tedious  one.  At  Narksami, 
seven  miles  east  of  Netiu- 
lumi, we  landed  and  found 
large  quantities  of  narwhal 
meat,  some  cached  under  stones,  and  some  unpro- 
tected. There  were  several  tupiks  here  until  the  day 
before,  when  the  death  of  a  woman  caused  all  the  in- 
habitants to  move  precipitately  to  Netiulumi.  I  saw 
the  never-again-to-be-used  tupik  in  which  she  had  died. 
The  poles  had  been  removed,  allowing  the  tupik  to 
collapse,  but  otherwise  it  and  its  contents  were,  and 
would  remain,  untouched  by  human  hand,  just  as  when 
the  woman  died.  I  saw  her  grave  also,  a  pile  of  stones 
upon  a  ledge  of  rock  back  of  the  tupik.  Lying  beside 
it  were  the  woman's  drying  frame,  two  tin  cups,  and 
her  one  dog,  which  had  been  strangled.  Her  young 
baby  had  also  been  strangled,  and  buried  under  the 


228        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice 

stones  with  its  mother.  Strange  custom  of  a  strange 
people.  Scattered  about  were  several  old  graves  con- 
taining fragments  of  bones.  Leaving  Narksami  after 
my  crew  had  laid  in  a  good  supply  of  their  great  deli- 
cacy, the  viaktah,  or  skin  of  the  narwhal,  I  tried 
beating  up  the  Sound,  but  found  it  of  no  avail,  and 
was  obliged  to  resort  to  the  oars  again  and  hug  the 
shore,  taking  advantage  of  the  lee  of  every  point. 
Through  all  this  laborious  work,  my  happy,  child- 
like crew  was  a  constant  source  of  interest  to  me. 

Glacier  West  of  Ittibloo. 

During  the  first  two  days  of  the  voyage,  they  had 
been  very  quiet.  Perhaps  the  rythmic  lift  and  dip  of 
the  boat  upon  the  long  North-Water  swells,  heaving 
against  the  outer  coast,  had  disturbed  them  ;  perhaps 
they  were  suspicious  of  the  September  vagaries  of  wild 
"  Immaksoah"  (the  North  Water). 

But  now,  well  within  the  limits  of  "  Ikaresungwah  " 

Boat  Voyage  229 

(Whale  Sound),  and  hugging  the  shore  within  a  boat's 
length,  they  were  garrulous  as  so  many  sparrows. 
The  regular  stroke  of  the  oars  seemed  an  incentive  to 
■continuous  chatter.  Spicy  gossip  of  the  tribe,  the 
wonderful  ship,  incidents  of  our  voyage,  speculations 
as  to  my  plans,  apostrophes  to  the  waves,  the  sky,  the 
shore,  the  birds, — an  incessant  stream.  Never  did  an 
inquisitive  burgomaster  gull  stoop  with  wide  white 
wings  to  inspect  the  boat  but  what  he  was  chaffed  and 
derided  ;  not  a  flock  of  bustling  little  auks  whirred 
past  but  they  were  followed  by  encouraging  words 
equivalent  to  "  Go  it,  little  ones,"  "  That 's  right," 
"  You  '11  get  there  "  ;  and  the  sight  of  a  seal's  glistening 
black  head  emerging  from  the  water,  would  be  the  sig- 
nal for  a  volley  of  "  TakiL  !  "  "  Taku-u-u  !  "  ("  Look  "), 
"'  Puisse !''  in  inimitable  accents,  and  as  much  excite- 
ment as  if  it  was  the  first  seal  of  their  lives.  Yet,  at  a 
word  of  caution  from  me,  the  noise  would  cease,  the 
broad  backs  strain  and  sway  till  the  oars  bent  like 
whalebone,  and  the  boat  forged  slowly  through  the 
boiling  tide-rip  round  a  projecting  point. 

Creeping  laboriously  along,  we  reached  glittering 
Misumisu,  the  largest  berg-forming  glacier  of  the 
numerous  ice-streams  which  flow  down  the  gorges  of 
this  precipitous  shore. 

This  glacier  projects  well  out  into  the  sea,  and  a 
short  distance  back  from  its  face  it  was  pierced  from 
side  to  side  by  a  magnificent  tunnel,  which  would  have 
spanned  a  four-track  railway. 

The  air  between  the  crystal  roof  and  liquid  floor  of 
this  tunnel  was  blue  as  indigo.  I  had  an  idea  of  pass- 
ing through  this  royal  arch,  and  the  boat  was  heading 
for  it  and  about  to  enter,  when  an  enormous  block  of 
ice  from  the  keystone  fell  with  a  crash  and  roar  into 
the  water,  sending  peals  of  thunder  and  white-capped 
breakers  through  the  archway,  and  we  incontinently 

230       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

turned  straight  out  into  the  Sound,  my  crew  pulHng 
as  I  never  saw  them  before  or  since. 

This  debacle  was  the  sio-nal  for  a  general  disinteera- 
tion  alono-  the  o-lacier  face,  and  thoug-h  no  laro-e  here 
was  born,  fragment  after  fragment  flew  outward,  and 
buttress  after  buttress  cracked,^  toppled,  and  fell,  till 
the  entire  glacier  face  was  hidden  in  a  fury  of  crashing 
ice,  leaping  waves,  and  hissing  spray,  as  if  the  glacier 
were  some  huge  white  marine  monster  entangled  upon 
the  shore,  and  beating  the  sea  into  foam  with  its  gleam- 
ing head,  in  its  effort  to  escape. 


Even  when  several  miles  awa}',  we  could  still  hear 
the  loud  reports  of  the  rending  ice,  and  the  muffled 
roar  of  the  waves  hurling  themselves  into  the  newl)- 
formed  crevasses  and  caverns. 

It  was  eight  p.m.  when  we  arrived  at  Ittibloo,  after 
thirteen  hours  of  tedious  work.  Here  I  found  the 
three  tupiks  of  Ootooniah,  Ikwah,  and  Mahsotia. 

Big  brown-eyed  Ahrinyahloo,  Ootooniah's  wife,  in- 
formed me  with  a  significant  gesture,  and  as  unconcern- 

Boat  Voyage  231 

edly  as  she  would  have  told  me  that  she  did  n't  sleep 
well  the  nieht  before,  that  her  unborn  babe  had  been 
dead  for  several  days,  killed  by  her  exertions  in 
lifting  stones  while  at  work  on  the  winter  igloo. 
This  house-building  of  these  women,  coming  as  it  does 
at  a  critical  period  of  the  year,  is  perhaps  one  of  the 
most  effective  obstacles  to  the  increase  of  the  tribe. 


Again  a  brilliant  sunset  flamed  on  us  for  a  little 
time  through  the  wide  gateway  of  Murchison  Sound, 
then  was  quenched  in  rapidly  gathering  leaden  clouds. 

Here  I  accepted  the  hospitality  of  Ootooniah's 
large  and  cleanly  tupic,  while  Matt  occupied  the  any- 
thing but  downy  thwarts  of  the  boat,  drawn  up  on 
the  beach. 

At  seven  a.m.,  we  left  Ittibloo  with  the  flood-tide,  to 
pull  across  the  mouth  of  Olriks  Bay  to  Kanga,  seven 
miles  distant,  and  then  up  the  north  shore  of  the  bay 
to  the  deer  pastures. 

When  we  started,  the  sea  was  perfectly  calm,  but 
before  we  had  gone  two  miles  the  wind  came  rushing 
out  of  the  bay,  and  increased  in  fury  until  it  became 
a  question  whether  we  would  reach  the  shore.      I  was 

232       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

towing  Kahdahsu's  kayak  astern,  and  the  drag  of  this 
made  the  Ge?ieral  very  sluggish  in  meeting  the  waves, 
till  I  hauled  it  up  and  lashed  it  alongside.  Finally 
we  were  able  to  gain  a  partial  shelter  behind  the  rock 
point  of  Kanga  and  haul  the  boat  out  through  the 
surf.  Though  we  had  wind  and  wave  in  quantity  to 
make  it  amply  exciting,  we  by  no  means  got  the  worst, 
or  even  my  staunch  whale-boat  would  scarcely  have 
lived  through  the  wicked  chop-sea  that  rose  from  the 
meetinof  of  the  strong  flood-tide  and  furious  wind. 
On  the  south  side  of  the  bay,  where  the  wind  fell  in 
fiercest  force  from  the  mountains  above  the  Savage 
Glacier,  the  tops  were  shaved  from  the  waves,  and 
whirled  aloft  in  clouds  and  revolving  pillars  of  spray, 
while  over  the  crests  and  through  every  gorge  of  the 
mountains  swept  a  dark  cataract  of  drift,  its  ominous 
roar  reaching  us  above  the  fury  of  wind  and  sea, 

Throuofh  all  this  turmoil  the  sun  was  shininp"  bril- 
liantly,  and  blue  sky  canopied  the  wild  scene.  It 
was  just  such  2S\Q)\}i\&x  anoaJitaksoah{^x&2X  wind)  as  we 
had  in  Academy  and  again  in  McCormick  Bay  two 
years  ago.  While  Matt  and  the  Eskimos  spread  their 
soaked  outer  clothing  and  the  contents  of  the  boat 
on  the  rocks  to  dry  in  the  sun  and  wind,  I  climbed  to  a 
sheltered  nook  between  huge  blocks,  a  hundred  feet  up 
the  rocky  side  of  Kanga.  Below  me  the  turbulent 
blue  ice-free  waters  of  the  great  fjord  reached  away  to 
the  giant  bastion  of  Herbert  Island,  then  out  through 
the  ample  channels  of  Whale  and  Murchison  Sounds, 
broken  here  and  there  by  an  occasional  gleaming  berg. 

To  my  right,  northward  across  the  Sound,  rose  the 
soft  grey  battlements  of  the  Sculptured  Cliffs  of  Kar- 
nah,  and  the  flowing  lines  of  the  Red  Cliff  Peninsula 
ice-cap  and  its  pendent  glaciers. 

To  my  left,  the  dazzling  white  faces  of  the  south- 
shore  glaciers   protruded    through   every   rift   in   the 

Boat  Voyage 


black  cliffs  ;  and  beneath  my  perch  the  waves  roared 
as  they  dashed  against  the  primeval  foundations  of 
dark  Kanga, 

Gradually  wind  and  sea  subsided,  and  at  4:45  p.m. 
we  ran  the  boat  down,  loaded  her,  and  pushed  off  in- 
to the  swirling-  flood-tide,  leaving  Kahdahsu's  kayak 
weighted  down  with  bie  stones,  well  above  hip;h-water 


The  Only  Example,  in  this  Region,  of  a  Sea-Level  Glacier  with    Terminal 


mark.  The  surface  of  the  bay  was  now  almost 
smooth,  and,  urged  by  oars  and  the  tidal  current,  we 
slipped  rapidly  past  the  steep  bluffs  of  the  north  shore. 
These  bluffs  at  first  glance  seem  to  be  a  talus  slope 
of  loose  rock,  but  the  inclination  is  so  steep  as  to  in- 
vite a  critical  examination,  which  shows  them  to  be 
really  sandstone  cliffs,  veiled  by  a  layer  of  disintegrated 
material  held  in  position  by  the  narrow  ledges  of  the 
numerous  strata. 

234        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

When  some  five  miles  up  the  bay,  the  evening  land 
breeze  began  drawing  inward.  I  had  the  sail  shaken 
out,  the  oars  were  taken  in,  my  dusky  crew  disposed 
themselves  for  sleep  between  the  thwarts,  and  we  sped 
rapidly  along,  passing  through  the  outer  narrows  and 
reaching  the  delta  of  the  Salmon  River,  more  than 
half-way  up  the  middle  bay,  before  the  wind  deserted 
us.  As  it  subsided,  the  bay  filled  with  dense  fog. 
Later  it  began   snowing,  and  at  two  a.m.  we  were 

Looking  through  the  Upper  Narrows. 

obliged  to  land  and  pull  the  boat  up,  the  rapid  current 
of  the  ebb-tide  making  progress  against  it  an  impossi- 
bility. As  "  Ingo"  said,  '' Iniaksoak  tiinatu  kooksoah'' 
("  The  sea  here  runs  like  a  great  river"). 

After  a  venison  supper,  we  spread  the  tarpaulin 
over  the  stern-sheets  of  the  boat  and  turned  in.  to  be 
awakened  at  nine  a.m.  by  my  natives,  when  I  found 
the  usual  morning  gale  blowing  out  of  the  bay,  the 
tide  rapidly  rising,  and  the  white-capped  waves  rush- 
ing directly  in  upon  our  shore.  Retreat  by  hauling 
the  boat  farther  up  was  impossible,  as  steep  gravel 

Boat  Voyage 


banks  rose  directly  from  high-water  mark  to  a  height 
of  thirty  to  forty  feet. 

The  best  we  could  do  was  to  force  the  bow  of  the 
boat  into  this  bank  at  high-water  mark.  Then  every- 
one worked  with  a  will  to  carry  the  cargo  up  the 
bank,  load  the  stern  of  the  boat  down  with  half  a  ton 
or  more  of  stones,  and  carry  out  spring  lines  each  way 
to  bi""  boulders  to  hold  her  immovable. 


These  preparations  were  scarcely  completed  and 
the  waves  breaking  heavily  against  the  boat,  when 
the  wind  ceased,  the  waves  subsided  as  if  by  magic, 
and  quickly  reloading  we  pushed  off  and  pulled  up 
the  bay  on  the  tail  of  the  flood-tide,  to  a  sheltered  rock 
cove  under  Mt.  Gyrfalco,  close  by  the  upper  narrows. 

236        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

As  soon  as  the  boat  was  hauled  up  and  secured  I 
gave  four  of  my  Eskimos  a  ritie  each,  and  started  them 
away  after  deer.  Ah  that  night,  the  next  day,  and  the 
next  night  it  snowed  silently  and  steadily,  obliterating 
the  last  trace  of  summer. 

My  forced  inaction  here  showed  me  for  the  first  time 
how  weary  I  was  in  mind  and  body,  and  I  did  not  find 
it  amiss  to  while  away  the  time  in  full  measure  of 
sleep,  alternating  with  strolls  up  the  valley.  Henson 
did  a  little  scouting  and  killed  three  hare  and  a  fox. 
A  big  snowy  owl  also  floated  for  a  moment  near  the 
camp  like  a  huge  snowflake. 

In  the  early  morning  of  the  third  day  it  was  calm 
and  apparently  trying  to  clear.  The  clouds  and  fall- 
ing snow  gave  way  to  a  sky  of  hammered  steel,  then 
the  demon  of  the  "  Great  Ice  "  descended  from  his 
lair  in  another  anoalitaksoah.  A  mighty  cataract  of 
drifting  snow,  its  surface  glistening  like  liquid  silver, 
its  depths  blue-black  as  a  thunder-cloud,  came  pouring 
with  the  roar  of  a  hundred  Niagaras  over  the  crests 
of  the  southern  cliffs  into  the  bay,  and  mingled  with 
the  sheets  of  hissing  spray  torn  from  the  tortured 

The  narrows  became  a  cave  of  the  winds,  through 
which  the  shriekino"  STusts  hurtled  in  solid  walls,  and 
the  entire  bay,  from  sea  to  mountain  summit,  became 
a  deafeninof,  blindintr  Arctic  Inferno. 

Our  little  cove  was  the  only  sheltered  spot  in  the  en- 
tire bay,and  even  here  it  was  impossible  to  stand  against 
the  climax  of  the  eusts.  So  imminent  was  the  danger 
of  the  boat  being  picked  up  bodily  and  smashed 
against  the  rocks,  that,  with  the  assistance  of  Matt  and 
Kahdahsu,  I  piled  rocks  in  her  stern,  passed  the 
grapnel  rope  across  the  bow,  and  weighted  it  down  on 
each  side  with  stones,  and  then  ran  out  spring  lines 
each  way  from  the  stern  to  big  boulders.      My  hunters 

Boat  Voyage  237 

had  not  come  back  yet,  and  as  it  was  now  fifty  hours 
since  they  went  out,  I  felt  sure  they  had  found  deer. 
Matt  started  up  the  valley  in  hopes  of  meeting  them, 
but  soon  came  back  saying  that  in  exposed  places  the 
wind  was  picking  up  the  gravel  and  small  stones  and 
hurling  them  with  such  force  that  he  could  not  stand 
it.  About  noon  I  worked  my  way,  between  the  squalls, 
up  to  a  completely  protected  spot  under  the  cliffs. 
Here,  seated  in  a  niche  in  hoary  lichen-covered  rocks, 
with   the    cold  wind  whistling  past  me,  wild   clouds 


Olriks  Bay. 

scurrying  overhead,  and  the  huge  ribs  of  mother  earth, 
gaunt  with  the  cold  and  starvation  of  centuries,  pro- 
truding in  every  direction,  I  was  besieged  by  a  host  of 
unpleasant  fancies,  from  which  the  necessity  of  caring 
for  the  boat  finally  rescued  me.  As  the  tide  rose, 
and  the  waves,  rolling  into  the  cove,  began  to  lift  the 
boat.  Matt  and  myself  took  turns  in  fending  her  oft* 
from  the  rocks  with  the  sail-sprit.      At  last  the  anoah- 

238        Northward  over  the  "  Great  ice  " 

taksoah  ^    subsided     and    we    thoroughly     enjoyed    a 
supper  of  broiled  hare. 

During  the  night,  the  ice  of  the  bay  above  the  nar- 
rows, shattered  by  the  fierce  blows  of  the  anoahtak- 


soak,   began    drifting   out   through    the   narrows  and 
past  our  camp. 

'  The  vicious  but  fortunately  short-lived  fury  of  the  "Great  Winds"  of 
Northern  Greenland  is  astonishing.  A  sudden  local  tilting  of  the  atmospheric 
balance,  perhaps  its  own  accumulated  weight,  starts  a  section  of  the  cold  heavy 
air  of  the  interior  ice-cap  towards  the  nearest  point  of  the  coast.  Gravity  con- 
stantly accelerates  its  motion  as  it  moves  down  the  incline  of  the  ice-ca]).  till  at 
last  it  plunges  a  roaring  snow-laden  torrent  down  the  steep  landward  slopes  of 
the  ice,  and  falling  into  the  deep  bays  or  fjords  is  compressed  between  their 
precipitous  and  frequently  converging  cliffs,  and  goes  screaming  and  hissing  to 
the  open  sea,  a  huge  air-jet  under  a  pressure  capable  of  moving  all  but  the 
heaviest  objects,  and  comparable  in  its  effects  to  the  destructive  water-jet  from 
the  monitors  of  Western  hydraulic  mining. 

Boat  Voyage 


This  made  me  very  anxious  to  get  away  and  down 
the  bay  ahead  of  it,  but  I  could  not  leave  till  my 
hunters  came  in.  At  three  a.m.,  Ingeropahdu  and 
Akpalisoaho  came  in  with  three  skins  and  two  saddles 
of  venison.  The  former  had  shot  one  deer,  the  latter 


They  said  they  had  been  all  the  way  across  to  Kan- 
gerdlooksoah,  and  saw  many  deer.  Matt  and  my- 
self turned  out  to  have  breakfast  with  them,  and  after 
this  I  shot  a  falcon,  and  Matt  went  up  the  valley  again 
and  got  two  more  hare  and  a  white  fox. 

Nooktah  and  Kardah  kept  me  waiting  till  nine  a.m., 
when  they  came  in  with  three  skins  and  three  saddles, 
all  obtained  by  Nooktah. 

240       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

As  soon  as  they  arrived  we  hurried  off  to  get  ahead 
of  the  ice.  Their  tardy  arrival  lost  us  the  ebb-tide, 
and  compelled  us  to  start  with  wind  and  tide  against 

While  passing  down  the  bay  we  saw  four  oogsook 
{phoca  barbata)  on  the  ice,  but  failed  to  secure  any. 
While  passing  through  the  outer  narrows  I  shot  a 
hare  on  the  north  point,  thus  adding  one  day's  meat 
supply  to  our  larder. 

It  is  a  novel  and  by  no  means  unpleasant  sensa- 
tion, this  of  feeling  that  the  crack  of  your  rifle  or 
shotgun  has  added  a  meal,  or  a  day's  or  even  (in 
the  case  of  a  deer)  a  week's  rations  to  your  meat 

The  delta  point  midway  of  the  outer  bay  was 
reached  about  midnight,  and  in  the  shelter  of  this 
point  I  threw  the  grapnel  out  in  shoal  water  and  a 
sandy  bottom,  and  we  got  a  few  hours'  sleep  while 
waiting  for  the  tide  to  turn  in  our  favour. 

Here,  while  lying  stretched  out  in  the  open  boat,  I 
saw  at  midnight  the  first  star  of  the  season. 

With  the  beginning  of  the  ebb-tide,  we  left  our 
moorings.  The  wind  was  against  us,  but  we  reached 
Ittibloo  in  five  or  six  hours,  and  got  ourselves  a  hot 
breakfast.  Ootooniah,  during  our  absence,  had  been 
somewhere  on  the  south  side  of  the  bay,  and  obtained 
three  deer.  Their  skins,  with  one  saddle  of  venison, 
I  purchased.  While  we  were  here,  there  was  a  heavy 
surf  rolling  in  from  the  northward,  and  apparently  in- 
creasing somewhat.  There  was  no  wind  to  speak  of, 
yet  my  huskies  seemed  rather  nervous  about  starting. 
However,  we  got  away,  and  reached  Kanga  without 
trouble  in  the  early  afternoon.  Here  we  remained 
four  hours  for  sleep  and  the  turning  of  the  tide. 
Kahdahsu's  kayak,  left  on  our  wa}^  up  the  bay,  had 
been   swept  away,  only  the  harpoon  line,  tangled  in 

Boat  Voyage 


the  rocks,  remaining ;  and  the  entire  aspect  of  the 
beach  had  been  changed  by  the  furious  waves  which 
had  in  places  eaten  into  the  mountain  slope  itself. 

When  the  flood-tide  began  to  run,  we  pushed  off, 
and,  hugging  the  shore  to  avoid  the  fresh  head-wind 
as  much  as  possible,  crept  slowly  along  to  Narksami, 
and  then  to  Tigerahomi,  where  we  arrived  at  mid- 

The  kooks  (rivers)  at  both  these  places  had  water 
running  under  the  ice,  but  small  streams  had  been 


frozen  now  for  several  days.  I  had  hoped  to  find  the 
wind  at  Tigerahomi  blowing  directly  out  of  the  gulf, 
so  that  we  could  stand  across  for  the  entrance  to  Bow- 
doin  Bay  ;  but,  instead,  it  was  blowing  fresh  from  the 
Castle  Cliffs,  directly  against  us,  so  that  if  we  started 
across  we  could  at  best  only  make  the  Sculptured- 
Cliffs  Glacier,  and  then  have  to  pull  up  to  the  mouth 
of  the  bay. 

Hauline   the  boat   hiorh   upon   the  lee  side   of  the 
Tigerahomi  delta,  and  making  her  secure  agamst  the 

242        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

event  of  another  blow,  which  the  lowering  aspect  of 
the  clouds  indicated  as  possible,  we  turned  in.  Ever 
since  leaving  Kanga  the  clouds  had  been  heavy  over- 
head, and  dark  and  low  and  savage  above  the  black 
distances  of  Whale  and  Murchison  Sounds  ;  yet,  while 
rounding  the  convexity  of  the  shore  between  Kanga 
and  Narksami,  where  we  could  look  well  up  the  gulf, 
I  could  see  the  sun  shining  brightly  on  the  distant  ice- 
cap beyond  Josephine  Peary  Island. 

I  woke  at  nine,  to  find  the  wind  less  strongr,  and 
veered  some  to  the  eastward.  After  breakfast  we  got 
away,  and  pulled  up  to  Tigerahomi  Point,  where  we 
set  sail  and  stood  across  to  Bowdoin  Bay.  Just  as 
we  were  pushing  off,  a  school  of  narwhal  passed  us, 
and  it  was  an  interesting  sight  to  see  them  dashing 
to  windward,  their  long  white  horns  flashing  out  of 
the  water  in  regular  cadence,  and  the  waves  dashing 
in  jets  of  spray  from  their  bluff  foreheads.  There 
were  at  least  six  magnificent  horns  in  the  school. 

We  were  on  a  line  with  the  Castle  Cliffs  at  two  p.m., 
when  we  encountered  ice. 

The  new  ice  was  now  rapidly  forming  in  every 
place  where  the  water  was  not  constantly  agitated  by 
the  wind,  and  cementingf  the  fraements  of  the  last 
winter's  ice  firmly  together. 

The  entire  bay  was  a  chaos  of  trash  ice,  icebergs, 
and  large  fields  of  last  winter's  ice,  cemented  by  this 
heavy  young  ice  ;  an  utter  contrast  to  the  condition 
of  the  bay  last  year  at  this  time.  There  was  practi- 
cally no  water  at  all,  and  it  was  only  after  six  hours 
of  the  most  arduous  efforts  that  I  got  my  boat  to  a 
point  just  above  the  East  Glacier,  and  within  five 
miles  of  the  lodo-e. 

Here  the  boat  was  hauled  up  and  secured,  our 
meat  cached,  and  we  walked  the  remainder  of  the 
distance  to  the  lodge,  the  Eskimos  carrying  the  deer- 


Boat  Voyage  243 

skins.  I  went  on  ahead,  and  as  I  came  over  East- Har- 
bour Point  I  saw  the  blue  smoke  curHng  up  from  the 
lodo-e  and  o-ot  a  whiff  of  the  bituminous-coal  flavour. 
This  assured  me  that  all  was  well  there.  It  was  a 
cheerful  sight  to  see  this  evidence  of  home  in  this 
wild,  wintry  land.  And  yet  a  wave  of  utter  loneli- 
ness swept  over  me  as  I  thought  of  the  aching  void 
there  ;  the  absent  brown  eyes  and  baby  blue  eyes. 


I  reached  the  lods^e  at  ten  and  found  Lee  writ- 
ine  by  the  liorht  of  a  bit  of  candle. 

He  looked  badly  and  told  me  he  had  not  been  feel- 
ing well  since  the  ship  left,  and  that  the  previous 
Saturday  he  was  confined  to  his  bed.  He  thought  it 
malaria,  but  after  talking  with  him  awhile,  I  found 
it  to  be  a  pronounced  case  of  nostalgia.  Poor  boy, 
he  had  been  very  homesick  and  lonesome,  had  eaten 
but  little,  and  that  irregularly,  and  was  all  out  of 

244        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Matt  and  the  Eskimos  came  in  an  hour  later,  and 
after  a  hearty  meal,  with  ample  coffee  and  biscuits  for 
my  faithful  crew,  everyone  turned  in. 

Thus  ended  this  boat  journey  of  over  two  hundred 
miles  at  the  end  of  the  Arctic  summer.  A  journey 
entirely  free  from  hardships,  and  with  but  a  single 
critical  episode,  the  passage  of  the  mouth  of  Olriks 
Bay.  Yet  other  boat  journeys  along  the  same  coast, 
at  the  same  season  of  the  year,  have  been  fraught  with 
appalling  hardships  and  dangers. 

And  the  reason  for  this  difference  ?  I  think  it  can 
be  summed  up  in  the  words  Jitiiess  and  experience. 

My  boat  was  fit,  my  clothing  and  equipment  were 
fit,  the  party  was  fit,  both  on  the  thwarts  and  in  the 
stern-sheets,  and  I  was  thoroughly  acquainted  with 
my  boat,  my  men,  the  coast,  and  the  sea  and  shore 
craft  of  the  region. 



A  Season  of  Abundant  Ick — From  the  Lodge  to  Karnah — An  Arctic 
Fleet — Stormy  Weather — The  Walrus  Grounds — Ready  for  Busi- 
ness— Harpooning  a  Big  Bull — Attack  of  the  Herd — Victory  at 
LAsr — Eskimo  Butchery — A  Narrow  Escape — More  Captures — Ath- 
letic Sports — Young  Ice— Back  to  Karnah — Welcome  to  "  Angesok." 





HOUGH  back  to 
the  lodge  in  safety, 
after  an  arduous 
trip,  there  was  no  time  for 
rest  or  dallying.  The  ac- 
cumulation of  my  winter's 
supply  of  meat — reindeer, 
and  Arctic  hare  for  our- 
selves, and  walrus  meat 
for  my  dogs — called  for 
the  exercise  of  all  our  en- 
ergies. My  faithful  Eski- 
mos were  ready  to  start  off  again  at  once,  if  only  they 
mieht  first  be  allowed  to  visit  their  families  at  Kar- 
nah,  and  let  them  know  that  they  had  returned  safely 
from  stormy  "  Imnaminomen"  (Cape  York). 

Last  year  at  this  time  there  were  only  occasional 
fragments  of  heavy  ice  floating  in  the  dark  wind-swept 
waters  of  Bowdoin  Bay.  Now  from  the  face  of  the 
Bowdoin  Glacier,  well  down  beyond  South  Point  and 
East  Glacier,  the  bay  was  a  compact  mass  of  heavy, 
last  winter's  ice,  and  beyond  that  a  zone  of  scattered 
pans,  cemented  together  by  young  ice,  which  was 
hourly  increasing  in  thickness.  Not  a  moment  was  to 
be  lost  if  the  whale-boat  was  to  be  taken  out  of  the 


248       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

bay.  In  twenty  hours  after  our  arrival,  my  dusky 
crew  was  off,  in  charge  of  Matt,  for  the  deer  pastures 
of  Kangerdlooksoah,  leaving  Lee,  Nooktah  and  my- 
self at  the  lodge.  A  week  later.  Matt  returned  with 
six  deer  and  several  hare.     Then  for  the  walrus  hunt. 


Typical  Summer  Tent. 

The  day  after  Matt  returned  was  Sunday.  The 
following  morning,  Monday,  the  i  7th,  I  left  the  lodge 
with  Lee  and  seven  Eskimos — Kardahsu,  Panikpah, 
Elingwah,  lokudi,  the  boys  Pooadloonah  and  Sipsu, 
and  lokudi's  wife  Tookoomingwah — in  the  General 
Wistar  for  Karnah  en  ronte  to  the  walrus  grounds. 
The  morning  was  dark  and  threatening,  but  the  wind 
of  Sunday  having  pushed  the  ice  away  from  the  east 

The  Walrus  Hunt  249 

shore  of  the  bay,  presented  an  opportunity  which 
could  not  be  lost.  As  we  started,  the  ice  borne 
upon  the  flood-tide  was  already  swinging  back  against 
the  shore,  and  it  was  only  by  dint  of  hardest  pull- 
ing, that  we  kept  ahead  of  it  and  got  into  clear 
water  beyond  East-Glacier  Cove.  From  here  we 
had  open  water  and  a  stern  breeze  across  the  bay 
and  along  the  Sculptured  Cliffs  to  Karnah,  where 
we  arrived  in  the  afternoon,  and  the  natives  turned 
out  en  masse   to   haul   my  boat   up   out   of   reach  of 


waves  and  ice.  The  wind  had  been  steadily  increas- 
ing for  some  time  before  my  arrival,  then  it  began 
snowing,  and  as  I  climbed  the  bank  to  the  tupiks, 
the  eye  could  penetrate  but  a  few  yards  through  the 
driving  flakes,  into  the  roaring  wilderness  of  white- 
capped  waves,  tossing  ice-pans,  and  detonating  bergs. 
I  made  arranofements  for  Lee  to  be  domiciled  in  the 
tupik  of  round-faced,  smiling  Akpudisoahho,  while 
I  occupied  that  of  Kardah,  my  last  winter's  host  at 

250       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice 

A  stormy  night,  with  furious  snow-laden  squalls 
rushing  out  of  the  gulf,  was  followed  by  a  day  so 
dark  and  windy  that  it  was  useless  to  start  for  the 
walrus  grounds,  as  none  of  the  animals  would  be  out 
on  the  ice,  and  I  devoted  the  day  to  a  study  of  the 
village.  Another  stormy  night  and  then  the  weather 
moderated  so  that  I  could  get  away.  Assembling  all 
the    able-bodied  boys  and  men  of    the  village,   with 


both  my  whale-boats  and  five  kayaks,  I  pushed  off 
from  the  ice-fringed  shore.  In  the  General  Wistar 
were  Lee,  myself,  and  five  picked  Eskimos,  while  the 
Mary  Peary  was  manned  by  eight  Eskimos. 

Such  an  imposing  fiotilla  had  never  before  sailed 
from  an  Eskimo  village  in  these  high  northern  regions, 
and  it  marked  an  enormous  forward  stride  in  develop- 
ment. Hitherto  the  native  hunting  had  of  necessity 
been  confined  to  single-handed  efforts,  each  man  for 

The  Walrus  Hunt  251 

himself,  or  at  most  two  comrades  working  together. 
Now  my  whale-boats  offered  facilities  for  an  entire 
settlement  to  combine  forces  for  a  common  object. 

It  was  a  dirty  afternoon,  vicious  snow-squalls  chas- 
ing each  other  in  rapid  succession  out  of  the  gulf  and 
down  the  Sound,  giving  only  occasional  glimpses  of 
the  sharp  ridge  of  Bastion  Point,  the  eastern  end  of 
Herbert  Island.  About  two  miles  and  a  half  east  of 
Cape  Cleveland,  the  bluffs  end  against  the  regular 
convex  of  a  boulder  delta,  formed"  by  an  ice-cap  tor- 


rent,  which  for  a  month  or  two  in  early  summer  roars 
down  a  deep  ravine  with  a  burden  of  stones  and 
gravel.  Just  in  the  angle  where  bluffs  and  delta  meet, 
there  are  a  few  paces  of  sandy  beach  across  which 
a  boat  may  be  drawn  up  until  her  stem  is  against 
the  base  of  the  bluff,  and  she  is  sheltered  from  the 
drifting  ice,  the  rabid  waves,  and  the  furious  east 
winds  by  the  breakwater  of  the  delta.  Niches  in  the 
rock  offer  facilities  for  fires,  and  from  a  perch  well 
up  the  bluffs  the   eye   commands   the   entire    Sound 

252        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

eastward  till  it  merges  into  Inglefield  Gulf,  westward 
until  it  is  lost  in  the  expanse  of  Smith  Sound,  and 
southward  to  the  shore  of  Herbert  Island.  With  the 
aid  of  a  good  glass,  a  walrus  or  an  oogsook  can  be  picked 
out  upon  the  floating  ice  anywhere  within  those  limits. 
I  had  camped  in  this  very  spot  in  September  three 
years  before,  after  my  memorable  first  encounter  with 
the  walrus,  and  here,  late  at  night,  I  now  directed  the 
course  of  my  fleet.  It  was  long  after  dark  when  we 
beached  the  whale-boats  and  kayaks,  and  dragged 
them  up  above  high-water  mark.  A  supper  of  veni- 
son, hardtack,  and  cocoa  took  the  edge  off  the  day's 


Bastion  Point. 

work,  and  everyone  had  crawled  in  under  the  tar- 
paulins and  sails  thrown  over  the  boats,  as  falling 
snow  aided  the  darkness  to  obliterate  the  desolate 

The  next  morning  we  were  up  and  had  eaten  our 
breakfast  long  before  the  late  morning  light  was  suf- 
ficient to  enable  us  to  start.  Everything  except  oars, 
rifles,  harpoons,  and  lines,  was  left  at  the  camp.  The 
Eskimos  were  too  slow  and  cautious  with  the  walrus 

The  Walrus  Hunt  253 

to  suit  me,  and  I  had  made  up  my  mind  to  handle  a 
harpoon  myself,  and  arranged  my  boat  accordingly, 
with,  I  must  confess,  some  degree  of  confidence,  as  I 
had  already  tried  my  skill  at  throwing  the  harpoon 
with  the  natives,  and  found  that  I  had  nothing  to  be 
ashamed  of,  either  as  regards  range  or  accuracy.' 
Lee  held  the  tiller,  five  of  the  best  Eskimos  manned 
the  oars,  and  I  took  my  stand  in  the  space  forward 
of  the  bow  oar. 

Lee  had  beside  him,  in  the  stern,  another  repeater 
carrying  the  same  cartridge.  Both  boats  and  the 
three  kayaks  left  camp  at  the  same  time,  but  soon 
separated,  my  boat  going  in  one  direction,  accompa- 
nied by  one  kayaker,  and  the  other  boat  and  two 
kayaks  taking  another. 

It  was  another  dirty  morning,  with  the  snow-squalls 
still  chasing  each  other  through  the  Sound,  and  the 
air  tremulous  with  a  low  continuous  roar,  as  of  distant 
surf,  above  which  from  time  to  time  rose  the  crash 
and  thunder  of  capsizing  and  disrupting  icebergs. 

The  settino-  of  the  scene  was  savas^e  in  the  extreme. 
The  barren,  snow-covered  shores,  the  dead-white, 
ghastly  ice-floes,  and  spectral  bergs,  driven  here  and 
there  by  winds  and  currents,  and  the  black  water 
swirling  between,  were  rendered  tenfold  more  dismal 
and  desolate  by  the  sombre  twilight  of  the  Arctic 

^  On  the  small,  iriangular  decking  at  the  bow  was  coiled  my  long,  stout  wal- 
rus line,  one  end  fastened  to  the  boat-ring,  the  other,  with  its  steel-edged  ivory 
barb,  attached  to  the  harpoon  shaft,  which  lay  across  the  gunwales  against  tv\o 
small  pins.  Five  or  six  coils  of  the  line  were  detached  fr^m  the  rest  and  lay 
a  little  apart,  so  that  they  could  be  eas^ily  grasped  and  held  in  my  left  hand  at 
the  instant  of  launching  the  harpoon.  On  the  deck,  also,  were  a  score  of  loose 
rifle  cartridges  and  my  three-barrelled  gun,  reduced  now,  since  its  last  accident, 
to  a  length  of  eighteen  inches,  a  regular  Mafia  weapon,  in  fact.  Just  behind 
me,  and  leaning  against  the  starboard  gunwale,  was  my  Winchester  repeater. 
It  and  the  three-barrel  both  carried  the  powerful  45-90-300  cartridge.  I  ex- 
pected to  do  most  of  my  killing  with  the  three-barrel,  but  the  repeater  was  in 
readiness  to  repel  the  attack  of  a  herd. 

254       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

We  soon  sighted  a  herd  of  some  fifty  of  the  animals 
upon  a  cake  of  ice,  but  the  day  was  too  raw  and  cold 
for  them  to  sleep  comfortably,  and  they  were  restless, 
constantly  fighting  among  themselves. 

We  pulled  noiselessly  towards  them  behind  the 
screen  of  a  small  berg,  till  concealment  was  no  longer 
possible  ;  then  with  a  low  "  Shake  her  up,  inimk- 
sue,''  from  me,  the  boat  swerved  out  past  it,  and  with 
all  the  speed  of  five  iron  backs  and  powerful  pairs  of 
arms,  dashed  at  the  quarrelling  monsters.  For  an 
instant  they  were  too  startled  to  move  ;  then  the  huge 
half-frightened,  half-enraged  brutes  plunged  bellowing 
for  the  water. 


But  I  was  already  within  range,  and  springing  to 
my  full  height,  with  a  motion  that  called  every  mus- 
cle from  scalp  to  toes  into  play,  I  hurled  my  harpoon 
at  the  nearest,  a  big  bull  that  had  plunged  directly  at 
the  boat.  The  heavy  shaft  with  its  trailing  line  flew 
through  the  air,  and  caught  the  huge  fellow  fair  in  the 
shoulder,  the  iron-edged  head  pierced  the  tough  hide, 
the  shaft  diseno-aeed  itself  and  floated  loose,  and,  with 
a  roar,  the  animal  disappeared  in  a  vortex  of  blood- 
stained foam  and  water. 

Rapidly  I  tossed  the  remaining  coils  of  line  over- 

The  Walrus  Hunt  255 

board.  The  boat's  headway  had  now  carried  her  close 
to  the  ice,  and  she  was  dancing  like  a  cork  in  the 
waves  made  by  the  plunging-  animals.  The  next  in- 
stant the  ponderous  brute,  with  the  momentum  of  a 
hundred  feet  of  pain,  rage,  and  fright-inspired  motion, 
set  the  line  taut,  and  changed  it  from  a  sinuous,  flexi- 
ble thono^  to  a  vibrant  rod  of  steel  sineine  like  a 
deep  eolian,  with  a  fierce  note  that  sent  every  drop 
of  blood  leaping  through  my  distended  veins,  and  set 
every  nerve  and  fibre  in  my  body  quivering  with  sup- 
pressed excitement. 


The  boat  reeled,  quivered,  whirled  as  on  a  pivot, 
her  bow  crashed  into  the  ice  with  a  shock  which  sent 
my  excited  Eskimo  crew  sprawling  on  their  backs  be- 
tween the  thwarts,  then  slid  off,  and  the  next  moment 
we  were  tearing  through  the  water,  with  the  foam 
spurting  from  our  bows,  and  the  water  boiling  under 
our  stern. 

For  the  first  few  yards,  only  the  head  of  the  animal, 
to  which  we  were  fast,  was  visible  ;  then,  with  a  rush 
and  a  splash,  the  herd  rose  like  one  animal  close  to 
and  all  about  the  boat.     What  savage-looking  brutes 

256       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

they  were  !  Their  great  heads  armed  with  gleaming 
white  tusks,  their  small,  deep-set,  bloodshot  eyes,  and 
their  thick,  bristle-studded  lips,  opening  to  give  vent  to 
the  most  vicious  roars. 

A  well-directed  volley  from  the  two  Winchesters  at 
the  most  pugnacious  of  the  animals,  Lee  taking  one 
side  of  the  boat  and  i  the  other,  sent  the  herd  under 
again,  and  enabled  me  to  cast  a  rapid  glance  about 
me,  to  see  that  everything  was  all  right,  and  that  we 
were  not  in  danger  of  being  smashed  against  any  of 
the  ragged  cakes  of  ice  which  lay  in  our  swift  course. 

The  respite  was  only  for  a  moment,  but  it  gave  us 
the  opportunity  to  replenish  the  magazines  of  our 
rifles,  and  when  the  herd  again,  with  a  simultaneous 
rush  that  threw  their  bodies  half  out  of  the  water, 
rose  roarine  amono-  the  oar  blades,  the  flash  of  the 
rifles  in  their  very  faces,  and  the  bullets  crashing 
against  their  massive  heads,  sent  them  under  a^ain. 

Several  times  after  this  they  returned  to  the  attack, 
but  even  their  iron  skulls  and  savage  pertinacity  were 
no  match  for  the  almost  continuous  fire  of  our  Win- 
chesters, and  at  last,  with  three  or  four  of  their  num- 
ber dead,  and  several  others  leaving  crimson  trails 
behind  them,  the  herd  left  the  boat,  and  grathered 
about  the  one  to  which  we  were  fast. 

Then,  as  opportunity  offered,  when  the  captive  ani- 
mal rose  to  the  surface  aeain,  a  sinsfle  bullet  from 
my  three-barrel  penetrated  the  base  of  his  skull. 
There  was  an  interrupted  bellow  as  his  head  sank 
into  the  water,  a  few  big  bubbles  rose  to  the  surface, 
and  then  the  dead  weight  of  two  tons  settled  slowly 
upon  the  line,  until  it  hung  straight  down  from  the 
bow  of  the  boat,  while  the  remainder  of  the  herd 
dashed,  roaring  and  bellowing,  away  among  the  ice- 
bergs.     The  struggle  was  at  an  end. 

Then  the  dead  animal  was  towed  to    the  nearest 

The  Walrus  Hunt 


suitable  cake  of  ice,  a  flat  pan  some  fifty  feet  across, 
when  everyone  landed ;  the  lines  were  transferred  to 
the  ice,  the  walrus  pulled  up  till  its  head  was  out  of 
water,  and  then,  with  the  deftness  born  of  long  ex- 
perience, my  Eskimos  cut  holes  in  the  surface  of  the 
ice-cake,  a  couple  of  slits  in  the  thick  hide  of  the  wal- 
rus, rove  an  impromptu 
tackle  and  fall  from  the 
lines,  and  then  all  hands 
swaying  on  the  line,  and 
lauehinor  and  shoutino^ 
like  fur-clad  demons, 
gradually  warped  the 
lifeless  mass  of  the  dead 
"  elephant  of  the  north" 
out  upon  the  surface  of 
the  ice.  As  the  hind 
flippers  came  fairly  on 
the  ice,  the  Eskimos 
dropped  the  lines,  seized 
their  knives,  and  swarm- 
ing upon  the  carcass,  in 
an  extremely  short  time 
had  it  dismembered  and 
piled  in  pieces  suitable 
for  passing  into  the  boat, 
each  piece  having  a  han- 
dle made  with  a  slash  of  the  knife  through  the  edge  of 
the  toueh  skin.  None  too  soon  was  the  work  accom- 

Absorbed  in  watching  the  dismemberment  of  the 
huge  animal,  I  paid  no  attention  to  our  surroundings. 
Now  looking  up,  I  saw  that,  while  our  ice-raft  was 
rapidly  drifting  out  of  the  Sound  before  the  wind,  a 
oriant  bere,  with  its  massive  pale-o^reen  base  a  hun- 
dred  fathoms  or  more  down  in  the  swift  grasp  01  the 


258       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

flood-tide,  was  rushingr  resistlessly  in  the  opposite  di- 
rection, and  bearing  directly  down  upon  us. 

Already  it  seemed  to  tower  over  us.  A  collision 
was  inevitable.      I  raised  a  quick  alarm. 

Again  a  series  of  frantic  demonstrations  from  my 
Eskimo  comrades,  as  they  literally  fell  over  them- 
selves in  their  efforts  to  get  the  meat  thrown  into 
the  boat.  Scarcely  had  we  pushed  off  and  gained  a 
hundred  feet  from  our  blood-stained  raft,  when  the 


great  berg,  like  an  ocean  liner  rushing  upon  a  pilot- 
boat,  crashed  into  it  and  shattered  it  into  a  dozen 
■crimson  fragments. 

Next  in  the  midst  of  a  nest  of  bergs  near  Herbert 
Island  we  found  four  together  upon  a  cake  of  ice 
that  was  completely  hidden  by  their  great  bodies. 
There  was  considerable  trash  ice  about,  which  bothered 
us  in  approaching  them.      I   succeeded,   however,   in 

The  Walrus  Hunt 


getting  within  range,  and  Kardahsu  and  myself 
both  drove  harpoons  at  the  largest,  a  grizzly  yet  tusk- 
less  monster  that  came  straight  at  the  boat  as  he 
plunged  from  the  ice.  Kardahsu's  harpoon  failed, 
and,  for  an  instant,  I  was  uncertain  as  to  my  own, 
which  followed  the  animal  into  a  whirlpool  of  foam. 
The  next  instant  the  hissing  line  told  me  that  my 
aim  had  been  true.  This  animal  was  a  powerful 
one,  but  the   quantity  of  ice  close  about  us  gave  it 


that    its 

no  chance  to  tow  us.  Kardahsu,  fearing 
struggles  might  break  my  line,  seized  his 
and  line,  leaped  nimbly  out  upon  the  ice,  ran  to  the 
place  where  his  unerring  instinct  told  him  the  ani- 
mal would  appear,  and,  as  its  head  emerged  from  the 
water,  drove  his  harpoon  into  its  neck.  Then  taking 
a  quick  turn  about  a  projecting  piece  of  ice,  the  great 
brute  was   securely  anchored,  and    despatched   with 

26o        Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  " 

the  lance.  When,  at  last,  the  huge  carcass  hung  limp 
and  inert  upon  the  lines,  crimsoning  the  ice  and  water 
for  yards  around,  we  lost  no  time  in  hauling  it  on  to 
the  ice  and  cutting  it  up,  as  our  position  was  anything 

but    agreeable, 

rapid     motions 

ous   disinteera- 

bergs  by  which 

rounded.    This 

to  be  extremely 

the  oldest,  the 

they  had    ever 

entirely    h  a  i  r- 

was  grey,  corru- 

scaly,  and  both 

broken  off  close 

jaw-bone.    The 

getting  fresher 

ment,  the  errat- 

and       ominous 

the     bergs    by 

were  surrounded  were  increasing,   the  debdcles  were 

becoming  more  and  more  frequent,  and  I  hastened 

to    get    out    of   the    dangerous    neighbourhood.       It 

was  too  dark  now  for  further  hunting,  and  we  pulled 


owing  to  the 
and  continu- 
tion  of  the 
we  were  sur- 
brute  proved 
old  and  large, 
natives  said, 
seen.  It  was 
less,  the  skin 
gate  d,  and 
its  tusks  were 
down  to  the 
wind  was 
every  m  o- 
ic  movement 
cracking  of 
which    we 

The  Walrus  Flunt 


away  across  the  Sound  to  camp,  with  my  boat  loaded 
to  the  gunwale  with  the  rich,  dark  meat  and  oily 
blubber  which  was  to  support  my  dogs  through  the 

During  several  stormy,  disagreeable  days  the  hunt 
was  continued  with  varied  success  and  adventures. 
Sipsu  fastened  one  animal  by  the  merest  "  fluke,"  his 
harpoon  piercing  the  web  of  the  hind  flipper  within 
two    inches   of   its  edge ;    Akpudisoahho    secured    a 


big  bull  by  a  magnificent  long,  left-handed  throw  ; 
a  cow  and  calf  were  obtained  on  a  bit  of  ice  directly 
under  the  overhanging  cliffs  of  a  gigantic  berg  ;  and 
once  I  sent  the  kayakers  in  advance  to  harpoon  one 
of  the  animals,  and  give  me  an  opportunity  to  observe 
their  tactics.  The  two  boats  followed  slowly  in  their 
rear.  Paddling  noiselessly  and  keeping  as  much  as 
possible  behind  cakes  of  ice,  the  kayakers  approached 
the  huge  game  until  Ingeropadoo  saw  an  opportunity 
to  flank  the  ice    on  which   the  animals  rested,   and, 

262       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

hidden  from  them  by  its  inequahties,  dimbed  out  of 
his  kayak  upon  it.  Seeing  this,  the  other  men  im- 
mediately climbed  out  upon  other  cakes  of  ice,  and 
pulled  their  kayaks  after  them  for  safety.  Carefully 
adjusting  harpoon, line,  float,  and  drag,  Ingeropadoo 
began  crawling  across  the  ice  with  harpoon  ready  in 
his  right  hand,  the  coiled  line  in  his  left,  and  the 
float  and  drag^  trailinof  behind  him.  The  boats  still 
kept  creeping  nearer. 

Two  or  three  bulls  in  the  herd  were  uneasy,  and 
kept  lifting  their  ponderous  heads,  looking  about  and 
bellowing.  This  uneasiness  on  their  part  led  Inger- 
opadoo to  make  his  final  rush  for  them  too  soon,  and 
before  he  could  get  within  certain  harpoon  range,  the 
herd  was  in  the  water. 

When  it  was  too  stormy  for  the  boats  to  go  out  I 
whiled  away  the  time  with  a  series  of  athletic  games 
among  the  natives  on  the  strip  of  level  beach.  There 
were  running  and  standing  high  and  long  jumps,  throw- 
ing the  harpoon,  putting  the  stone,  lifting,  etc.,  and  the 
eagerly  sought  prize  for  each  event  was  a  biscuit. 

But  at  last  there  came  a  clear,  calm,  bitter  night, 
and  the  next  morningf  the  surface  of  the  little  bieht 
beside  the  delta  was  glazed  and  motionless,  and  on 
the  beach  behind  the  receding  tide  a  vitreous  film,  the 
certain  and  immediate  precursor  of  the  formation  of 
permanent  young  ice  throughout  the  Sound.  It  was 
evident  our  departure  could  not  be  longer  delayed  if  I 
wished  to  get  my  meat  near  the  lodge  by  boat.  I 
kept  one  of  the  Eskimos  up  the  bluffs  with  the  binoc- 
ulars all  the  forenoon  looking  for  walrus,  but,  though 
he  commanded  the  entire  width  of  the  Sound  and 
up  and  down  for  twelve  or  fifteen  miles  each 
way,  he  failed  to  discover  a  single  animal.  Reluc- 
tantly at  last  I  gave  the  word  to  launch  and  load  the 
boats,  and  we  left  for  Karnah  with  gunwales  scarcely 

The  Walrus  Hunt 


out  of  water,  and  after  breaking  our  way  through 
several  miles  of  young  ice,  reached  the  settlement  at 

As  soon  as  we  were  within  ear-shot  of  the  place, 
one  of  my  crew  shouted  at  the  top  of  his  voice, 
"" Angesok ahwikstte shadago  "("  The'  big  one '  has  killed 
many  walrus"),   and   at  the  call  all  the  women  and 


children  and  old  men  of  the  village  rushed  down  to 
the  beach  to  greet  me  and  receive  into  full  fellowship 
one  who  was  now  the  peer  of  any  hunter  in  the  tribe, 
— one  who  in  true  Innuit  fashion,  with  harpoon  and 
line,  had  met  and  conquered  their  most  formidable 
game,  the  great  aliwik  (walrus). 



Fall  Moving  of  the  Eskimos — Winter  Habitations — A  Temporary 
Fright — Under  the  Karnah  Cliffs — Discomforts  of  Fall  Navigation 
— An  Arctic  "  Return  from  the  Hunt" — A  Perilous  Jam — Just  in  the 
Nick  of  Time — Satisfaction — Cutting  up  the  Meat — A  Walrus  Inferno 
— Walrus  Meat. 






LL  night  again,  as 
during  our  pre- 
vious stay  at 
Karnah,  the  wind  blew 
violently  out  of  the  gulf, 
as  if  it  were  a  veritable 
cave  of  the  winds,  and  the 
tardy  grey  morning  light 
showed  the  black  waters 
of  the  Sound,  beyond  the 
line  of  grounded  bergs 
which  marks  the  edge  of 
Karnah  shoals,  covered  with  racing  whitecaps.  It 
was  no  weather  for  my  heavily  loaded  boats  to  face, 
and  I  utilised  the  day  in  making  sketches  and  meas- 
urements of  the  igloos,  and  obtaining  various  inform- 
ation from  the  people.  Karnah  was  evidently  going 
to  be  a  populous  place  during  the  winter.  The  pop- 
ulation numbered  sixty-one,  of  whom  nineteen  were 
men  and  young  men,  fifteen  women  and  young 
women,  and  twenty-seven  children  ;  the  proportion 
of  the  sexes  being  thirty-four  males  to  twenty-seven 

The  village  was  still  in  summer  garb,  that  is,  the 
inhabitants,  with  the  exception  of  one  family,   were 


268       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

still  living  in  tupiks,  of  which  there  were  ten  ;  but  the 
construction  of  winter  residences  was  well  under  way. 
The  five  old  igloos  here,  only  two  of  which  were 
occupied  last  winter,  were  all  being  repaired  and  re- 
built, and  five  new  ones  were  nearly  completed.     All 

the  roof  and  bed 
platform  stones, 
which  must  be 
large,  flat,  and 
thin,  as  well  as 
many  of  those  for 
the  walls,  had  to 
be  brought  by 
the  men  on  their 
backs  from  the 
mountains,  some- 
times a  distance 
of  several  miles. 
The  construction 
of  the  igloos  falls 
very  largely  upon 
the  women,  and 
in  an  emergency 
they  even  assist  in 
bringing  stones. 
These  ig-loos 
vary  in  size,  from 
nine  to  fourteen 
feet  in  lenofth  in- 
side,  and  occasion- 
ally two,  more 
rarely  three,  are 
built  close  together,  the  party  wall  doing  double 
duty  and  thus  economising  material  and  labour. 
In  plan  and  method  of  construction,  each  igloo  is  built 
like  all  the  others.     There  is  a  lon^,  low,  narrow  stone 


Transporting  Meat  to  the  Lodge        269 

tunnel  of  an  entrance  ;  a  small  standing  room  ;  a  shal- 
low platformed  alcove  on  either  side  for  meat  and  the 
stone  lamps  ;  and  a  large  platformed  alcove  in  the 
rear, — the  family  bed.  A  single  small  window  of  seal 
intestines  over  the  entrance  admits  a  little  light. 

The  construction  of  ofie  of  these  primitive  habita- 
tions, half  excavated  beneath,  half  built  above  the 
surface,  would  seem  at  first  glance  to  demand  nothing 


beyond  a  considerable  outlay  of  manual  labour  in 
transporting  and  arranging  the  stones.  Yet  the  span- 
ning of  a  space  twelve  by  fourteen  feet  in  such  a  way 
as  to  support  a  heavy  load  of  stones,  turf,  and  snow, 
is  not  an  entirely  simple  problem  in  a  country  where 
there  is  literally  not  a  splinter  of  wood  or  anything 
that  can  serve  as  a  substitute  for  it.  Yet  these 
children  of  the  ice  have  met  and  solved  this  problem 


CKOSS  SE.CXIOINJ       OfM      A       S 

Pj-AN      IrSeCTlON      OFSTONE.      lai.OO 

K  ARM  AH  19   94-    R.E.R 

Transporting  Meat  to  the  Lodge        271 

with  the  cantilever  principle,  and  the  roofs  of  these 
old  stone  houses  are  everyone  supported  with  massive 
stone  cantilevers,  firm  and  unyielding  as  a  masonry 
arch.  In  the  plan  and  arrangement  of  his  house, 
too,  the  Eskimo  has  met  and  solved  each  problem 
that  confronted  him,  and  though  the  entrance  is  never 
closed,  yet  no  draught  or  current  of  air  disturbs  the 
quiet  interior,  the  thick  non-conducting  walls  of  stone 



Rafter  Stones  on  the  Right. 

and  turf  are  perfect  insulators  from  the  savage  cold, 
and  the  heat  from  every  drop  of  the  precious  oil 
burned  in  the  stone  lamps  is  fully  conserved.  Many 
of  these  igloos  have  every  appearance  of  being  cent- 
uries old.  Vertebrae  of  the  now  extinct  whale  are 
almost  invariably  built  into  their  walls,  and  frequently 
such  enormous  stones  are  used  in  supporting  the  roofs, 
that  it  seems  impossible  they  could  have  been  handled 
without  mechanical  appliances. 

272       Northward  over  the  **  Great  Ice" 

These  stone  dwellings  are  occupied  from  the  latter 
part  of  September  till  April  or  May,  depending  upon 
the  season,  locality,  and  movements  of  the  occupants. 
By  May  they  become  very  damp,  and  then  the  family 
betakes  itself  to  its  tupik,  removing,  at  its  departure 


Entrance  and  Window  not  Completed. 

from  the  igloo,  the  window  and  a  portion  of  the  roof, 
so  that  throughout  the  summer  the  sun  and  wind  may 
have  free  access  to  the  interior.  There  is  no  owner- 
ship of  these  igloos  beyond  the  period  of  actual  occu- 
pancy.    Any  one  of  them  is  free  to  each  and  all,  and 

Transporting  Meat  to  the  Lodge        273 

it  is  the  exception  rather  than  the  rule  that  a  family 
lives  in  the  same  igloo,  or  in  fact  in  the  same  place, 
two  years  in  succession.  It  is,  this  year,  say,  at 
Etah,  the  next  at  Cape  York,  the  next  at  Ittibloo, 
and  so  on.  The  building  of  a  new  igloo  is  rather  a 
rarity  also,  and  is  necessary  only  when,  for  some  special 
reason,  as  this  year  at  Karnah,  an  unusually  large 
number  of  natives  are  attracted  to  one  place.  Usu- 
ally no  more  families  locate  in  a  place  than  the  exist- 
ing igloos  will  shelter. 

As  the  day  was  darkening  into  twilight,  and  Lee 
and  Panikpah  were  cooking  supper  over  a  blubber 
fire  built  against  the  side  of  a  bio:  boulder,  I  saw  two 
stranee  figures  comino^  alono-  the  distant  westward 
shore,  and  my  exclamation  of  surprise  being  caught 
by  the  natives  nearest  me,  in  a  moment  the  entire 
village  was  in  a  state  of  excitement.  Who  could  it 
be  coming  from  that  direction,  where  there  were  no 
settlements  except  beyond  McCormick  and  Robert- 
son Bays  ?  Advancing  with  some  of  the  men  to  meet 
the  strangers,  I  recognised  at  a  distance  the  peculiar 
cut  of  a  Cumberland-Gulf  deerskin  coat  which  I  had 
given  to  Nooktah,  and  at  once  the  thought  flashed 
through  my  mind  that  the  lodge  had  caught  fire  and 
been  destroyed,  or  that  Matt  had  met  with  some  seri- 
ous accident,  and  faithful  Nooktah  and  old  Ahtung- 
ahnah,  as  I  now  identified  the  second  comical  figure 
(dressed  in  a  nondescript  rig  composed  partly  of  her 
own  last  year's  fur,  much  the  worse  for  wear,  and 
partly  in  cast-off  garments  given  her  by  members  of 
my  party),  had  come  overland  by  the  well-known  route 
through  Tooktoo  Valley  and  down  McCormick  Bay 
to  bring  me  the  news.  It  took  me  but  a  few  moments 
after  this  to  get  within  speaking  distance  and  make 
the  hurried  inquiries  which  happily  set  my  mind  at 
rest.     They  had  left  the  lodge  to  hunt  deer  in  Took- 

2  74       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

too  Valley,  and  not  finding  any,  and  with  mouths 
watering  for  a  feast  of  fresh  walrus  meat,  had  tramped 
for  two  days  and  nights  along  the  roundabout  trail  to 
the  village.  In  the  evening  I  went  to  a  large,  unoc- 
cupied igloo,  which  was  utilised  by  the  young  people 


of  the  settlement  as  a  sort  of  playroom.  Here  I  found 
assembled  all  the  children  of  the  village,  engaged  in 
various  games  and  larking  just  like  so  many  country 
children  at  home.  Though  at  first  somewhat  awed 
and  stilled  by  my  entrance,  they  soon  recovered  and 
went  on  with  their  sport. 

Transporting  Meat  to  the  Lodge        275 

The  following  morning  I  got  under  way  in  the  face 
of  a  fresh  head-wind,  but,  by  keeping  close  to  the 
shore  under  the  shelter  of  the  Sculptured  Cliffs,  came 
along  very  comfortably  as  far  as  the  entrance  to  Bow- 
doin  Bay.  Here  I  stopped  for  a  few  moments  for 
Akpudisoahho  to  land  and  bring  down  three  fine 
narwhal  horns  which  he  had  cached  here.  In  cross- 
ing the  bay  to  the  east  side,  we  encountered  young 
ice,  much  of  which  was  so  firm  that  we  found  it  im- 
possible to  break  a  channel  for  the  boat  in  the  usual 
manner,  with  feet  and  boat-hooks.  Working  round 
these  heavy  areas  entailed  much  loss  of  work  and  time, 
and  it  was  dark  when  we  came  to  the  end  of  naviga- 
tion, where  a  narrow  shore  lead  ceased  half-way  be- 
tween the  Castle  Cliffs  and  East  Glacier.  The  steep 
talus  slope  at  this  place  afforded  absolutely  no  foot- 
hold, and  we  were  obliged  to  effect  a  landing  upon  a 
still  remaining  fragment  of  last  year's  ice-foot.  Here 
we  made  tea  and  supped  on  a  few  biscuit,  then,  as 
our  landing-place  afforded  no  facilities  for  lying  down, 
we  half  sat,  half  reclined  against  the  angular  frag- 
ments of  the  talus,  wherever  our  bodies  could  be  made 
to  adapt  themselves  to  their  irregularities.  It  was 
much  like  a  night  on  a  sleeperless  "  owl  "  train  with  the 
steam-pipes  frozen.  Yet,  in  spite  of  these  little  draw- 
backs and  the  fact  that  it  was  snowing  merrily,  the 
night  was  by  no  means  the  most  uncomfortable  that 
I  have  experienced.  As  soon  as  it  was  light  enough 
to  see,  the  load  of  the  Mary  Peary  was  thrown  upon 
the  ice-foot,  so  that  her  crew  might  hurry  back  in  her 
to  Karnah  before  they  were  beset  by  the  young  ice. 
With  the  change  of  the  tide,  a  very  narrow  shore  lead 
began  to  open,  into  which  the  General  Wistar  was 
put.  As  we  worked  our  way  along  this  lead,  it  slowly 
widened  under  the  influence  of  wind  and  tide,  so  that 
we  passed  the  East-Glacier  Cove  without  difficulty, 

276       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

and  on  up  the  shore  a  mile  beyond.  Here  a  sudden 
motion  of  the  ice  crushed  m^y  boat  against  the  ice-foot 
until  her  ribs  cracked,  her  seams  began  to  open,  and 
my  Eskimos  tumbled  precipitately  ashore.  After  a 
few  moments  of  suspense  the  pressure  relaxed,  and 
we  extricated  the  boat  from  her  dangerous  position. 
Then  she  was  towed  like  a  canal-boat,  by  the  men 
climbing  along  the  shore,  as  far  as  the  Middle-River 


Delta.  Looking  backward  and  down  upon  them,  the 
men  and  the  boat  made  a  picturesque  Arctic  "  Return 
from  the  Hunt."  The  boat,  with  its  heaped-up  load 
of  vivid  crimson  meat,  floating  in  the  narrow  ribbon 
of  black  water  close  to  the  shore,  was  the  only  bit  of 
colour  in  the  wide  expanse  of  grey  cliffs,  dead-white 
ice,  and  lead-coloured  sky.  Tossed  about  on  top  of 
the  load  were  the  walrus  heads  with  their  powerful 
tusks,  a  blotch  of  white  in  the  stern  was  a  string  of 

Transporting  Meat  to  the  Lodge        277 

Arctic  hare,  two  or  three  purphsh-black  spots  indi- 
cated the  meat  of  an  oogsook  (bearded  seal),  while  the 
bow  was  graced,  not  by  the  branching  antlers  of  a 
great  stag,  but  by  three  glittering,  white,  polished 
ivory  shafts,  straight  as  arrows  and  sharp  as  lances, 


the    eight-feet-long   tusks    of    the    narwhal  or  fabled 

From  the  Middle- River  Delta  I  hurried  on  ahead 
to  the  lodge,  and  sent  Matt  back  to  relieve  Lee  and 
carry  him  something  to  eat.  By  dark,  everyone  had 
reached  the  lodge.     Soon  after   I   left  the  boat  the 

278       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

lead  closed  up  entirely,  and  Lee  cached  the  meat  and 
hauled  the  boat  up  out  of  danger.  A  clear,  starlit 
night,  fresh  with  wind  from  a  bank  of  black  clouds  in 
the  south,  paled  gradually  into  morning  light,  which 
showed  me  from  the  windows,  close   to  my  couch,  a 


narrow  lead  forming  at  East-Harbour  Point,  and  by 
the  time  we  had  hurriedly  finished  our  coffee,  the 
increasing  wind  was  fretting  tiny  whitecaps  upon  it. 
This  was  evidently  our  opportunity  to  bring  the 
General  VVistar  and  its  load  to  the  lodge,  and 
Lee,  Matt,  and  the  Eskimos  hastened  away  down  the 

Transporting  Meat  to  the  Lodge        279 

shore.  A  few  hours  later  the  Geiici'al,  under  full 
sail,  rounded  the  point  at  a  racing  pace,  and  was 
worked  up  to  within  a  few  hundred  yards  of  the 
brook,  whence  the  Eskimos  backed  the  meat  to 
the  lodge.  Then,  after  dinner,  everyone  started  off 
to  bring  up  the  load  of  the  Mary  Peary,  left  below 
the  East  Glacier,  The  attempt  was  frustrated,  how- 
ever, by  the  jamming  of  the  ice  upon  the  shore  at  the 
Middle- River  Delta,  closing  the  lead  completely. 
For  three  days  after  this,  a  snow-laden  south-easter 
held  full  sway.  We  had  reached  the  bay  just  in  the 
nick  of  time,  for  the  storm  was  making  wild  work 
along  the  lee  shore  of  the  savage  Karnah  cliffs. 
Sunday  morning  the  wind  subsided  and  shifted  in 
direction,  and  the  outward  swing-  of  the  ice  began  to 
open  the  shore  lead,  which  we  were  eagerly  waiting 
for.  The  General  VVistar  was  again  launched  and, 
with  everyone  working  like  beavers,  forced  to  the 
meat  cache,  loaded,  and  brought  up  to  the  rocks  di- 
rectly in  front  of  the  lodge,  where  the  cargo  was 
removed,  and  she  was  then  warped  to  the  head  of  the 
harbour  and  dragged  well  up  the  rocks  to  her  winter 
quarters.      The  season  of  navigation  was  closed. 

The  bringing  of  the  meat  to  the  lodge  at  this  time 
was  the  seizure  of  a  golden  opportunity.  With  the 
turning  of  the  tide  the  ice  settled  back  again  upon 
the  east  shore,  and  at  daylight  the  next  morning 
there  was  not  a  particle  of  open  water  between  the 
lodge  and  the  East  Glacier,  and  the  shore  lead  never 
opened  again  until  the  following  summer. 

It  was  with  a  feeling  of  satisfaction  that  I  realised 
the  fact  that  all  the  results  of  the  September  hunting 
were  safely  housed,  the  venison,  birds,  and  hare 
hanging  frozen  in  long  rows  in  the  corridor,  and  the 
walrus  meat  stacked  in  the  large  east  room  of  the  lodge. 

This  room  presented  a  unique  appearance  :  the  great 

28o        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

hams,  fore  shoulders,  rib  and  flank  and  neck  pieces, 
piled  high  around  the  walls,  till  scarcely  room  was 
left  for  the  stove,  a  passageway,  and  a  small  working 
place   in   the   centre.      Huge   rubber-like   flippers   as 

large  as  snow-shovels,  narrow- 
ing down  to  wrists  like  propel- 
ler shafts,  reached  out  of  the 
mass  at  the  passer-by  ;  and  from 
the  top  of  the  pile  glared  the 
splendid  trophies  of  the  hunt, — 
the  savaofe  heads  with  the  fire- 
light  glancing  from  the  gleam- 
ing ivory  tusks,  blotched  with 
the  blood  and  froth  of  the  death 

But  now  that  the  harvesting 
was  done,  the  husking  of  the 
corn,  the  threshing  of  the  grain, 
was  in  order.  The  bio^  chunks 
of  meat,  already  frozen,  would, 
with  the  steadily  increasing  cold, 
become  more  refractory  than 
stone,  because  equally  as  hard 
and  much  tougher.  In  its  pres- 
ent shape,  too,  the  meat  was 
entirely  unavailable  for  sledge 
work,  because  of  the  useless 
weiofht  of  bones  and  skin. 

No  time  could  be  more  pro- 
pitious than  the  present,  with 
my  merry  gang  of  Eskimos  eager  for  the  work,  to 
get  it  all  in  the  most  compact  and  effective  shape. 
The  coal-bin  in  the  corner  of  the  room  was  filled  to 
overflowing  with  coal  from  the  pile  out  on  the  rocks. 
Then  the  stove  was  fired  till  it  glowed  like  a  gigantic 
carbuncle,  and  meat  heaped  round  it. 


Transporting  Meat  to  the  Lodge        281 

When  this  had  thawed  out,  it  was  dragged  into  the 
centre  of  the  room,  other  pieces  put  in  its  place,  and 
then  everyone  feU  to  with  sharpened  knives,  cutting 
the  rich  dark  meat  and  heat-o-ivinof  blubber  into  small 
pieces  and  pressing  solidly  into  empty  flour  or  biscuit 
tins,  for  use  on  the  ice-cap  ;  cutting  the  tough,  almost 
indestructible,  yet  nutritious  skin  into  strips  which 
could  be  swallowed  whole  by  a  dog,  for  use  during 
the  winter  at  the  lodge ;  and  putting  the  bones  aside 
for  their  own  use. 


About  six  o'clock  each  day  a  pail  of  coffee  and  a 
pan  of  biscuits  would  be  taken  in  to  the  Eskimos  by 
Lee  or  Matt,  a  big  iron  pot  would  be  placed  half  full 
of  water  upon  the  stove,  into  which  each  one  would 
drop  some  special  tidbit  which  he  had  laid  aside  dur- 
ing the  day  ;  then  the  pot  filled  up  with  juicy  bones. 
While  this  was  getting  hot,  other  bones  would  be 
toasted   before  the   fire,   and  the  feast,   interspersed 

282       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

with  laughter  and  gossip,  would  continue  until  the 
word  "  Sinnimeiiahdowah  "  ("  I  want  to  sleep  ")  from 
me  would  quiet  everyone,  the  matted  heads  would 
find  a  resting-place  against  the  nearest  piece  of  wal- 
rus, the  black  eyes  would  close,  and  silence  reign  un- 
til stertorous  snores  set 
the  atmosphere  vibrating. 
Another  time  a  walrus 
head,  one  of  their  great 
delicacies,  would  be  the 
piece  de  resistance  of  the 
evening's  feast.  Placed 
in  the  midst  of  the  eager 
group,  one  would  carve 
lumps  from  the  thick  gel- 
atinous lips,  another  slice 
the  rich  tongue,  another 
gouge  an  eye  and,  punct- 
uring it  with  his  knife, 
suck  it  as  we  suck  the 
pulp  from  a  grape-skin, 
while  another,  with  a  deft- 
ly shaped  bit  of  board, 
would  extract  the  exquis- 
ite omelette  of  the  brain, 
till  finally  the  massive 
skull  would  be  left  as  bare 
and  white  as  if  cleaned 
by  ants  or  shrimps. 

At  these  times  I  doubt 
if  Dante  or  Dore  could 
have  done  justice  to  the  scene  :  The  air  heavy  with 
the  peculiar  flabby-musky  odour  of  the  lifeless  yet  fresh 
walrus  blood  and  flesh  ;  the  glowing  stove,  the  sullen 
red  eye  of  the  quintessence  of  all  evil,  filling  the  room 
with    bloodshot   gloom,  through  which    showed    the 


Transporting  Meat  to  the  Lodge        283 

blood-smeared  faces,  white  teeth,  and  gHttering  eyes 
of  the  group  of  fur-clad  demons  quarrelling  over  the 
massive  skull ;  while  from  the  background,  hideous 
misshapen  deformities  of  webbed  hands  reached  out 
for  them  ;  and  from  above,  heavily  mustached  faces, 
with  white-fanged  mouths,  glared  at  them. 

The  completion  of  this  work  left  me  with  nearly 
two  clear,  solid  tons  of  the  richest,  most  substantial, 
nutritious  food  for  man  and  doo-  that  this  region  af- 


fords — the  dark,  firm  meat  and  dense  blubber  of  the 
North-Atlantic  walrus. 

The  accompanying  sketch  of  a  steak  from  the  fore 
shoulder  of  a  walrus  will  give  an  idea  of  the  relative 
proportions  of  skin,  blubber,  and  meat  on  these  huge 
inhabitants  of  Arctic  waters. 

The  meat  of  the  walrus  ranks  second  to  that  of  the 
seal,  as  regards  flavour  and  also  as  regards  quantity 
consumed  ;  though  the  reason  for  this  latter  is,  that  the 
seal,  being  more  numerous,  and  an  inoffensive  animal, 
can  be  captured  by  young  men  and  timid  hunters, 
while  only  the  strongest  and  most  fearless  hunters 
dare  attack  the  walrus. 

284        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Next  to  the  meat  of  the  bear,  that  of  the  wahus, 
the  natives  insist,  stays  by  them  the  longest  when  en- 
gaged in  arduous  work  ;  and  dogs  well  fed  upon  it 
continue  in  prime  condition  under  the  hardest  work 
and  in  the  severest  temperatures. 



Attempt  to  Rehabilitate  my  Caches — Lee  and  Matt  Unsuccessful — 
My  own  Attempt — A  Six  Days'  Snow-Storm  on  the  Ice-Cap  Five 
Thousand  Feet  above  the  Sea — Bitter  Fancies — My  Caches  Irrevo- 
cably Lost — A  Stunning  Blow — The  Struggle  to  Get  Back— The 
Land  Buried  in  Snow — Like  a  Shipwrecked  Castaway — Makeshifts 
Caused  by  the  Catastrophe — Apprehensions. 




H  E  next  work  on  my 
programme  was  the 
rehabilitation  of  the 
nearer  of  the  caches  of 
provisions  which  I  had 
left  on  the  Inland  Ice  the 
previous  spring  and  sum- 
mer. Had  it  not  been 
imperative  that  I  should 
first  assure  my  winter's 
meat  supply  for  both  men 
and  dogs,  I  should  have 
searched  for  these  caches  immediately  after  my  return 
from  the  ship  ;  but  there  had  been  no  alternative  left 
me.      Now  was  the  first  opportunity. 

The  last  day  of  September  having  seen  all  my 
walrus  meat  safely  housed,  Lee,  Henson,  and  Nook- 
tah  started  the  2d  of  October,  with  sledge  and  twelve 
dogs,  to  visit  the  caches  as  far  as  Camp  Equinoctial, 
dig  them  out,  rearrange  them  upon  the  surface  of  the 
snow,  and  re-erect  such  signals  as  might  have  been 
blown  down.  The  weather  for  the  next  few  days  was 
clear  and  comparatively  calm,  and  I  was  congratulat- 
ing myself  upon  its  favouring  character,  when  late  in 
the   fourth    day  the    party   returned   without  having 


288       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

fotind  any  caches,  and  without  having  gotten  farther 
than  the  first  or  alcohol  cache. 

They  reported  a  most  extraordinary  depth  of  new 
snow  on  the  ice-cap.  They  found  two  bamboo  pole 
signals,  one  at  Plateau  Camp  and  one  this  side. 
When  first  erected  last  spring  these  poles  stood  eight 


and  nine  feet  above  the  snow,  now  only  about  a  foot 
was  visible. 

This  was  all  very  serious  news  and  required  that  I 
should  myself  personally  start  for  the  ice-cap  as  soon 
as  practicable.  I  should  have  started  the  next  day, 
had  it  not  been  that  the  dogs  needed  food  and  rest. 

It  was  late  Friday  when  the  party  returned. 

Monday  morning,  October  8th,  at  daylight  I  was 
on  my  way  up  the  familiar  trail  across  Baby  Lake, 
past   the   mule  cache,   and   up   to   the   moraine  with 

Fall  Ice-Cap  Work 


Matt,   Maksingwah,  more  familiarly  known  as   "  Fla- 
herty," and  ten  of  my  best  dogs. 

It  was  very  late  in  the  season  now  ;  we  had  but  a 
few  hours  of  daylight,  and  work  upon  the  ice-cap 
could  be  prosecuted  only  under  serious  disadvantages. 

The  morning  was  calm, 
bright,  and  clear  after  the 
two  previous  cloudy  and 
threatening  days,  and  we 
reached  the  moraine  In 
fairly  good  time.  Before 
noon  we  were  under  way 
up  the  heavy  littoral 
gradient  of  the  ice-cap  in 
the  face  of  a  light  north- 
east breeze,  over  a  sur- 
face very  suitable  for 
snow-shoes,  and  pushed 
on  as  far  as  the  two  ski 
points  which,  now  barely 
projecting  above  the 
snow,  marked  the  old  site 
of  Plateau  Camp.  When 
we  reached  these,  it  was 
nearly  dark,  the  evening 
air  was  decidedly  sharp, 
the  thermometer  stand- 
ing at  -  16  °  F.  ;  we  had 
covered  sixteen  miles  of 
an  up-hill  road,  and  I  gave  the  word  to  camp.  To 
pitch  the  tent  and  fasten  and  feed  the  dogs  took  but 
a  short  time,  and  we  were  soon  in  the  tent  waiting 
for  the  boiling  of  our  tea.  This  accomplished,  and 
the  tea  utilised  to  wash  down  two  or  three  biscuits 
apiece,  we  lost  no  time  in  going  to  sleep. 

The  next  morning  we  were  up  long  before   sun- 

VOL.  II. — 19 


290       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

rise,  and  after  a  repetition  of  the  tea  and  biscuit,  re- 
inforced by  some  frozen  seal  meat,  we  were  again 
under  way.  For  this  trip  I  did  not  feel  that  we  could 
encroach  upon  my  limited  sledge  supplies  for  the 
spring  journey,  so  our  rations  consisted,  besides  tea 
and  a  scant  allowance  of  biscuit,  of  seal  meat,  frozen 
to  the  consistency  of  a  stone.  No  more  signals  were 
seen,  but  at  four  o'clock  my  pacing  indicated  the  vi- 
cinity of  the  first  cache,  and  as  I  swept  the  circuit  of 
the  snow-field,  I  thought  that  I  had  found  the  object 
of  my  search,  for  sharp  and  clear  against  the  western 
sky,  now  yellow  from  the  departed  sun,  stood  up  a 
pole,  projecting  from  the  snow  apparently  about  a 
foot,  and  seemingly  some  few  hundred  yards  distant. 
Directing  my  steps  towards  it,  the  few  hundred  yards 
lengthened  to  a  mile,  and  the  little  pole  to  four,  stand- 
ing nine  feet  high  and  marking  the  cache  which  Lee 
had  left  a  few  days  before. 

When  I  got  back  to  my  sledge,  the  cold  blue 
shadow  of  night,  sweeping  down  from  the  north-east, 
had  taken  full  possession  of  the  field  surrendered 
by  the  light,  and  I  gave  the  word  to  stake  out  the 
dogs  and  pitch  the  tent.  The  day  was  a  repetition 
of  the  previous  one,  bright  and  clear,  with  a  fresh 
and  biting  north-east  breeze.  The  snow,  as  we  in- 
creased our  elevation,  had  grown  softer,  and,  the  snow- 
shoes  sank  deeply,  making  the  travelling  decidedly 
heavy.  Tea  having  been  made  and  despatched,  we 
stretched  upon  the  snow  with  draw-strings  of  koole- 
tah  and  trousers  pulled  tight,  arms  withdrawn  from 
the  sleeves  and  folded  upon  the  chest,  and  were  soon 
sleeping  comfortably. 

At  midnight.  Matt,  who  had  gone  outside,  reported 
a  cloudless  sky,  the  stars  shining  brightly,  and  a  low 
but  brilliant  aurora  to  the  north.  At  six  o'clock  fog 
and  clouds  had  obliterated  everything,  the  wind  had 

Fall  Ice-Cap  Work 


veered  to  the  south-east,  and  that  dead  grey  empti- 
ness of  minute  snow  particles,  which  I  knew  so  well, 
shrouded  the  universe.  I  had  the  tent  turned  to 
bring  its  back  to  the  wind,  the  sledge  brought  along- 
side, the  dogs  refastened  in  front  of  the  tent,  and 
everything  carried  inside, — preparations  which  more 
than  one  disagreeable  experience  had  taught  me  to 


make.     These  completed,  I   re-entered  the  tent  and 
Matt  followed  me. 

Absorbed  in  my  thoughts,  I  did  not  notice  for 
some  time  that  Maksingwah  had  not  entered  with 
us,  and  that  I  had  heard  no  sounds  from  him  outside. 
The  suspicion  at  once  came  to  me  that  he  had  de- 
camped, rather  than  take  the  chances  of  an  October 
storm  on  the  dreaded  sermiksoak  (ice-cap).      Looking 

292        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

out  and  seeing  nothing  of  him,  I  tied  on  my  snow-shoes, 
and,  picking  up  our  sledge  tracks,  found  his  footprints 
overlying  them,  and  pointing  down  the  back  track.  I 
did  not  follow  him  for  any  distance,  as,  if  we  were 
booked  for  a  long  storm,  he  would  be  of  no  earthly  use 
to  us,  while  his  absence  would  very  materially  econ- 
omise our  food  supply,  and  enable  us  to  stand  a  longer 
siege.  Poor  fellow,  I  learned  afterwards  that  it  took 
him  four  days  to  reach  the  lodge,  arriving  at  the  end  of 
that  time  so  weak  with  hunger  and  cold  that  he  could 


barely  crawl. 

The  wind  increased  to  a  steady  whistling  gale,  the 
air  became  saturated  with  horizontally  frying  snow,  and 
those  Arctic  barometers,  the  dogs,  were  every  one 
curled  in  a  ball,  backs  to  the  wind,  and  noses  and  feet 
buried  in  their  bushy  tails.  Reluctantly  I  resigned 
myself  to  the  prospect  of  another  of  those  dreary 
storm-bound  episodes  upon  the  "  Great  Ice,"  only 
hoping  that  I  might  be  as  fortunate  as  hitherto  in 
sleeping  away  the  majority  of  the  long  hours.  All 
day  and  night  the  monotonous  music  of  the  storm 
continued.  Late  in  "the  afternoon  of  the  next  day, 
the  wind  slackened  a  little  and  enabled  us  to  get  out, 
feed  and  untangle  the  dogs,  and  muzzle  several 
suspicious  members  of  the  team  that  might  be  ex- 
pected, under  the  influence  of  that  arch-devil  of  mis- 
chief and  destruction  which  in  storms  on  the  "  Great 
Ice"  possesses  the  Eskimo  dog,  to  eat  their  harnesses 
and  traces.  Then  the  fury  began  again  and  continued 
till  six  weary  gnawing  days  and  nights,  the  most  ac- 
cursed I  ever  spent  upon  the  ice-cap,  had  crawled 
their  slow  lengths  into  the  past. 

My  little  tent,  pitched  at  an  elevation  of  five  thou- 
sand feet  above  the  sea-level,  stood  upon  the  abso- 
lutely unbroken,  unobstructed  surface  of  the  "  Great 
Ice."     The  fury  of  the  wind  drove  the  snow  through 

Fall  Ice-Cap  Work 


the  walls  of  the  tent  in  a  constant  shower  of  impal- 
pable white  dust,  which  settled  upon  us  and  every- 
thing in  it.  The  clouds  and  the  driving  snow  combined 
to  almost  completely  obliterate  the  little  daylight  re- 
maining at  this  season  of  the  year,  and  kept  us  in 
continual  gloom.  About  twice  in  each  twenty-four 
hours  we  lit  the  little  oil-stove,  and  made  a  cup  of 


tea,  ate  a  biscuit  and  some  of  the  seal  meat,  then  put 
out  the  stove,  pulled  our  hands  and  arms  inside  our 
fur  sleeves,  and,  rolling  on  our  faces  to  avoid  the  snow- 
dust,  tried  to  sleep  again. 

But  after  the  first  three  days  I  could  not  sleep  and 
could  only  lie  and  listen  to  the  infernal  driving  of  the 
snow  against  the  tent,  knowing  that  the  demoniac 
white   down-pour  was  destroying  the  last  chance   of 

294       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

finding  my  caches,  destroying  all  the  work  of  the 
previous  year  on  which  I  had  counted  so  largely  to 
assist  me  the  next  spring,  reducing  my  resources  to 
the  very  minimum,  and  perhaps  even  destroying  every 
chance  of  success  next  year.  Plans  for  the  future 
failed  me.  Interest  in  anything  refused  to  be 
aroused ;  thoughts  of  wife  and  blue-eyed  baby,  of 
mother,  pictures  of  boyhood,  happy  scenes  and  mem- 
ories, before  this  devil  of  Arctic  Exploration  took 
possession  of  me,  rose  and  ranged  themselves  opposite 
to  the  precious  hours  of  my  life  being  wasted,  the 
sacrifices  of  me  and  mine,  all  perhaps  to  end  in  nought, 
till  it  seemed  as  if  with  this,  and  the  unceasing  hissing 
of  the  wind  and  snow,  I  should  lose  my  reason.  Sun- 
day evening  especially,  I  thought  of  dear  brown  eyes 
and  blue  baby-eyes  until  I  could  stand  it  no  longer, 
and  by  brute  force  turned  my  thoughts  elsewhere. 

At  last,  at  midnight  of  Monday,  the  stars  were  shin- 
ing in  a  nearly  cloudless  sky,  and  soft  yellow  moon- 
light tinted  the  infinite  marble  plain  and  fell  upon  my 
sleeping  dogs,  while  a  light  but  bitter  north-east  breeze 
rustled  past  the  tent.  The  work  of  digging  out  sledge 
and  tent,  beating  the  tent  free  of  its  frost  coating,  and 
repairing  harnesses  and  traces  consumed  several  hours. 
The  snowfall,  as  measured  on  the  poles  at  Lee's  cache, 
had  been  a  little  over  three  feet  on  a  level.  When, 
towards  noon,  the  sun  at  length  rolled  up  above  the 
rim  of  the  great  feeder  basin  of  the  Heilprin,  Tracy, 
Melville,  and  Farquhar  Glaciers,  it  fretted  every  in- 
equality of  the  "Great  Ice"  with  burnished  gold.  With 
the  disappearance  of  the  clouds  and  the  return  of  the 
north-east  breeze,  the  temperature  had  dropped  again 
to  -12°  F.,  equivalent  at  least  to  -25°  F.  at  the  sea- 

The  signal  at  the  Cache  Igloos,  a  yellow  bamboo 
pole  projecting  in  the  previous  march  ten  to  twelve 

Fall  Ice-Cap  Work 


feet  above  the  snow  surface,  would,  I  hoped,  be  only 
partially  submerged  by  even  the  enormous  snow  pre- 
cipitation of  the  intervening  months,  and  if  this  were 
found  I  knew  I  could  find  the  cache  of  provisions  one 
mile  beyond,  while,  if  it  were  buried  in  the  excessive 
snowfall,  it  would  be  useless  to  waste  time  in  looking 
for  any  other  signals.  I  feared  from  the  first  that 
my  search  would  be  unavailing,  for  during  this  last 
storm  alone  over  three  feet  of  snow  on  the  level  had 


fallen.  Yet  through  every  minute  of  the  precious 
daylight  we  diligently  quartered  the  surface  of  the 
desert  of  snow,  straining  our  eyes  in  the  effort  to 
detect  a  bit  of  the  top  of  the  pole  which  had  been 
left  to  mark  the  position  of  the  cache. 

All  our  efforts  were  in  vain  ;  and  blue-black  night 
again  folded  the  "Great  Ice"  in  its  embrace. 

The  sole  result  of  nine  days  of  wasted  time  and 
effort  had  been  to  satisfy  me  beyond  a  doubt  that  all 
my  essential  supplies  for  the  next  spring's  sledge  jour- 

296       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

ney,  nearly  a  ton   and  a 
ounce  of  my  alcohol  and 
and  forever  buried  in  the 
Ice,"  and  that  all  of  the 
been  completely  blotted 
by  my  loss  ;  I  felt  like  a 
uninhabited    shore,  with 

half  in  all,  including  every 
pemmican,  were  irrevocably 
insatiate  maw  of  the  "  Great 

work  of  the  past  year  had 
out.      I  was  ahnost  stunned 

man  shipwrecked  upon  an 

nothing   left    him    but    the 


clothes  upon  his  back.  Listlessly  I  pitched  my  tent, 
to  rest  even  though  I  could  not  sleep,  through  the 
thickest  of  the  darkness  before  commencing  the  re- 
turn march. 

However,  our  troubles  were  not  yet  over.  When 
the  twilight  of  the  following  day  had  grown  enough  for 
us  to  move,  I  found  that  one  of  those  indescribable 
opaque  sightless  fogs  had  settled  upon  the  ice-cap,  and 

Fall  Ice-Cap  Work  297 

in  every  direction  was  only  blank  nothingness.  We 
must  make  an  effort  to  get  back  to  the  lodge,  for  we 
were  on  the  last  round  of  our  provisions.  With  com- 
pass in  hand  I  started  off,  and  travelled  as  far  as  I 
could  without  losing  sight  of  Matt  and  the  team,  which 
might  be  two  hundred  feet,  then  with  the  compass 
put  myself  on  the  course,  then  at  the  word  Matt  would 
drive  the  team  up  to  me.  The  dogs  wallowed  to  their 
chins  in  the  soft  snow,  and  the  sledge,  though  loaded 
with  nothing  but  the  tent,  oil-stove,  and  shovels, 
dragged  like  a  snow-plough. 


Two  days  of  this  kind  of  work  brought  us  twenty 
miles  nearer  the  lodge,  and  on  the  third  morning  I 
was  delighted  to  find  that  we  were  just  beneath  the 
cloud  level,  and  could  make  out  ahead  of  us,  beyond 
the  ghastly  white  stretch  of  the  ice-cap,  the  sullen 
shapes  of  the  snow-covered  land,  barely  discernible  in 
the  dead  lio-ht. 

From  the  landward  crest  of  the  ice-cap  where  it 
begins  to  slope  sharply  down  to  the  surrounding 
moraine,  the  bold  capes  and  points  of  land  jutting 
out  into  the  gulf  and  Sound  seemed,  in  the  dim,  grey 

298        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

sunless  light,  like  huge  Arctic  monsters  crouching  at 
each  other. 

Tooktoo  Valley  was  almost  unrecognisable,  so 
deeply  was  it  shrouded  in  snow,  blown  into  it  from 
the  surrounding  ice-cap.  The  lodge  itself,  drifted  in, 
was  almost  invisible  from  the  rear,  but  before  reaching 
it  we  met  all  the  inmates  of  the  place.  Our  dogs, 
loosened  from  the  sledge  at  the  moraine  as  usual,  with 
their  traces  coiled  about  their  necks,  had  gone  on 
ahead  of  us  to  the  lodge  and  heralded  our  approach. 

With  the  return  from  the  ice-cap  in  gloomy  spirits. 


began  the  long  winter  night.  While  on  the  ice-cap, 
a  mile  above  sea-level,  we  had  several  hours  of  day- 
light ;  down  at  the  lodge,  under  the  shadow  of  the 
mountains,  the  duration  of  daylight  at  noon  was  but 
an  hour  or  two.  We  were  already  on  the  confines  of 
the  valley  of  the  shadow  of  death,  the  great,  the  inde- 
scribable night  of  the  Arctic  regions. 

The  loss  of  my  caches  was  a  blow  which  dazed  me 
for  a  time.  We  had  been  badly  enough  off  before  in 
regard  to  equipment,  having  only  odds  and  ends  and 
wreckage,  so  to  speak,  from  which  to  evolve  it  ;  all  the 

Fall  Ice-Cap  Work 


flower  of  my  material  having  been  expended  on  the 
fall  work  of  1893  and  the  attempt  of  the  previous 
spring.  I  had,  however,  seen  my  way  clear  to  obtain 
from  the  material  at  hand  such  an  equipment  as  I  be- 
lieved would  meet  our  requirements.  Now  practically 
all  of  my  provisions  were  gone.  Every  ounce  of 
pemmican  and  alcohol,  the  two  prime  essentials  of  an 
Arctic  sledge  ration  under  any  condition,  and  doubly 
so  for  ice-cap  work,  were  lost.  What  should  I,  what 
could  I  do  ? — and  yet  the  idea  of  abandoning  the  jour- 


ney,  even  in  the  face  of  this  apparently  overwhelming 
disaster,  never  for  a  moment  occurred  to  me,  nor,  I 
think,  to  either  of  my  companions. 

It  would  be  necessary  to  revert  to  first  principles  as 
to  rations,  and  then  leave  the  result  to  the  Almighty. 
An  account  of  stock  at  the  lodge  showed  the  follow- 
ing :^raw,  frozen  venison  for  ourselves  and  frozen 
walrus  meat  for  our  dogs  must  take  the  place  of  pem- 
mican ;  and  coal  oil  must  serve  as  a  substitute  for 
alcohol.  We  could  make  out  rations  of  tea,  biscuit, 
oil,  and   raw  meat  for  ourselves  and   dogs   for  two 

300        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

months,  i.e.,  sufficient  for  the  journey  to  and  from  In- 
dependence Bay  under  favourable  conditions ;  and 
have  a  httle  tea,  biscuit,  and  oil  still  remaining  for  use 
beyond  that  point.  For  dog  food  and  our  own  meat 
rations  beyond  that  point,  our  entire  dependence  must 
be  upon  the  country  beyond  the  ice-cap. 

I  had  in  my  1891-1892  Expedition  demonstrated 
that  one  pound  of  pemmican  per  dog  and  three- 
fourths  pound  per  man  per  diem  would  keep  both  in 
good  working  condition.     The  values  of  walrus  meat 


and  venison  for  such  work  were  unknown  quantities, 
though  unquestionably  much  inferior  to  pemmican, 
yet  I  felt  that  we  stood  at  least  an  even  chance  of 
reaching  Independence  Bay,  and  that  chance  we  would 
take.  Beyond  there  everything  would  depend  upon 
circumstances.  Still,  by  a  favourable  combination  of 
these  we  might  yet  accomplish  something. 

Heavily  handicapped  at  best,  my  chances  for  accom- 
plishing anything  beyond  Independence  Bay  depend- 
ing entirely  upon  the  most  fortuitous  combination  of 

Fall  Ice-Cap  Work  301 

circumstances,  my  haunting  fear  was  that  something 
would  happen  to  prevent  our  even  starting  from  the 
lodge.  Had  the  problem  before  us  been  merely  the 
passing  of  the  winter  in  comfort  and  safety,  I  should 
not  have  had  a  care.  As  it  was,  my  favourite  night- 
mare durinor  the  winter  was  to  dream  that  I  was 
back  home  aQ^ain  without  havino-  been  able  to  make 
another  attack  upon  the  ice-cap,  and  I  would  waken 
with  a  feeling  of  positive  relief  to  find  myself  stretched 
on  my  bearskin  couch,  with  the  howling  wind  of  the 
ereat  niaht  tearingr  at  the  house,  and  realise  that  I 
still  had  the  struggle  before  me.  That  I  had  reason 
for  this  fear  will  be  understood  from  our  utter  lack  of 
any  margin  for  accidents  or  mishaps,  either  to  our- 
selves, our  material,  or  our  supplies. 

Should  the  dog-madness  descend  upon  the  dogs,  it 
would  end  everything  completely  ;  should  I  happen  to 
be  disabled,  it  would  result  in  the  same  way  ;  should  Lee 
or  Henson  meet  with  an  accident  or  die  (and  we  had 
no  doctor),  it  would  be  a  crushing  blow  ;  should  the 
house  catch  fire  and  our  scant  material  and  remaining 
sledge  supplies  be  destroyed,  it  would  cripple  us. 
And  I  had  reason  for  these  fears,  Lee  came  home 
from  a  late  October  surveying  trip  so  used  up  that  it 
took  weeks  to  get  him  in  shape  again.  Matt  entered 
the  New  Year  with  an  attack  which  at  home  would 
have  been  called  the  grip.  And  I,  going  out  in  One 
of  the  furious  winter  blizzards  to  see  that  everything 
was  securely  lashed,  was  nearly  brained  by  a  heavy  box 
of  frozen  meat,  which,  blown  from  the  roof,  just  grazed 
my  temple  and  struck  a  glancing  blow  upon  my  arm 
that  rendered  it  useless  for  a  week.  I  should  have 
liked  to  put  my  comrades  in  fire-  and  burglar-proof 
safes,  and  had  them  fed  with  a  spoon  until  the  day 
arrived  to  start  upon  the  ice. 



Preparation  of  the  House  for  Winter — Interior  Details — A  Guest- 
Chamber — My  own  Suite  of  Apartments — The  Waning  of  the  Summer 
Day— The  Departure  of  the  Sun. 



THE  supply  of  meat 
obtained  during 
my  return  from 
Cape  York,  and  in  the 
grand  walrus  hunt,  was 
by  no  means  all  that  was 
secured  during  the  fall. 
Every  possible  opportun- 
ity for  hunting  was 
utilised,  and  every  ounce 
of  meat  was  cared  for  and 
put  away  as  carefully  as  a 
miser  hoards  his  gold. 

The  meat  secured  during  the  boat  trip  consisted  of 
eight  saddles  of  venison  weighing  249  lbs.,  together 
with  four  tongues,  four  livers,  and  three  hearts,  also 
thirty-eight  looms,  one  duck,  one  brant,  and  six  Arctic 

A  few  days  after  my  return,  I  shot  two  more  hares 
not  far  from  the  lodge. 

The  hunting  trip  to  Kangerdlooksoah  doubled  our 
meat  supply,  adding  to  it  six  saddles  of  venison  (a 
total  weight  of  215  lbs.),  together  with  six  hearts,  six 
tongues,  two  livers,  some  thirty  pounds  of  sirloin,  and 
nine  hares  weighing  64^  lbs.     A  doe  and  a  fawn,  killed 


VOL.  n.— 20 

Fall  Hunting,  etc.  307 

by  Nooktah  on  the  day  Matt  returned,  added  fifty 
pounds  more,  making  a  total  of  353  lbs.  obtained  in 
a  week.  Three  more  hares  I  obtained  at  Cape  Cleve- 
land during  the  walrus  hunt.  An  oogsook,  killed  dur- 
ing the  walrus  hunt,  netted  me  eighty-four  pounds  of 
clear  edible  meat. 

On  the  27th  of  October,  Matt  obtained  two  more 
deer  in  Tooktoo  Valley,  weighing  about  150  lbs.  gross, 
and  ninety  to  one  hundred  pounds  net.  On  the  ist 
of  November,  eighteen  pounds  more  of  venison  were 
added  to  my  supply,  from  a  fawn  shot  by  Nooktah  and 
Panikpah  in  Five-Glacier  Valley.  The  week  ending 
November  15th  added  two  hundred  pounds  more  of 
venison  to  my  stock,  from  three  deer,  killed  by  Panik- 
pah and  Matt  at  Kangerdlooksoah,  during  the  last  of 
the  twilight. 

Next  after  an  abundant  supply  of  food,  the  most 
important  item  affecting  the  comfort  of  the  Arctic 
traveller  is  his  winter  quarters.  The  houses  erected 
for  my  expeditions  have  been  constructed  after  a  new 
design,  and  possess  new  features.  They  have  con- 
sisted of  an  inner  shell  made  as  nearly  air-tight  as 
possible  ;  separated,  by  an  air  space  of  from  one  to 
three  feet,  from  an  outer  shell,  also  air-tight.  The 
roof  is  practically  flat,  and  the  entire  structure  sur- 
rounded by  a  continuous,  closed,  nearly  flat-roofed 
corridor,  four  to  six  feet  wide,  the  outer  wall  built  of 
the  boxes  containing  supplies,  and  banked  w^ith  snow 
outside.  By  this  method  of  construction,  the  house 
is  protected  completely  from  the  fierce  assaults  of  the 
winter  storms.  In  severe  stress  of  weather  it  can, 
like  the  Eskimo  huts,  be  completely  covered  in  with 
snow.  Every  package  of  supplies  is  perfectly  acces- 
sible, and  the  corridor  affords  ample  room  for  work 
upon  and  storage  of  equipment. 

The    most    advantageous   way    of    modifying   the 


2,  2,  2, 

1.  Double  floor,  tongued  and  grooved,  with  tarred  paper  between. 

2.  Inner  sheathing,  tongued  and  grooved,  and  lined  with  blankets  or 


3,  3.    Double  windows. 

4.    Overhead  sash  to  prolong  Arctic  day  as  much  as  possible,  covered 
with  hay  in  winter. 

5,  5>  5.  5-    Outer  sheathing,  tongued  and  grooved,  with  tarred  paper  nailed  to 
it  inside  and  out,  and  outer  joints  covered  with  battens. 
6.    Lantern  or  skylight. 

7.  7?  7.  7-    Air  spaces  between  inner  and  outer  sheathing,  from  i  to  3  feet  wide. 

8,  8.    Corridors,  5  to  6  feet  wide,  and  6  to  7  feet  high,  extending  entirely 

round  house,  and  serving  both  as  a  protection  from  cold  and  as 

9,  g.    Walls  formed  of  the  boxes  of  supplies,   enclosing  these  corridors. 

These  boxes  are  all  opened  and  laid  on  their  sides  so  that  their 
contents  can  be  removed  as  from  so  many  shelves. 

10,  10.  Snow  embankments  ;  blanketing  the  corridors.  If  necessary  this 
snow  blanket  can  be  carried  over  the  roof  as  shown  by  the  dotted 


F'all  Hunting,  etc.  309 

lodge  to  meet  the  requirements  of  my  little  party 
during  the  winter  of  1894-95  was  quickly  decided 
upon,  and  the  work  carried  on  from  time  to  time  in 
the  intervals  of  outdoor  work,  until  everything  was 
completed.  The  central  portion  of  the  main  house, 
nine  by  fourteen  feet,  and  eight  feet  high,  which  during 
the  previous  winter  had  been  the  kitchen  and  dining- 
room,  was  selected  for  our  use.  On  the  west  side  of 
this,  and  separated  from  it  by  a  double  partition  one 
foot  thick,  was  the  room  formerly  occupied  by  Mrs. 
Peary  and  myself,  and  on  the  east  side,  separated  by 
a  single  partition,  the  large  room  formerly  occupied 
by  the  party.  A  window  three  feet  high  extended 
clear  across  the  front  of  the  room,  and  a  skylight,  six 
feet  wide,  ran  across  the  centre  of  the  ceiling. 

A  door  opened  into  each  of  these  adjacent  rooms, 
and  two  ventilating  shafts  led  through  the  ceiling  and 
roof  to  the  open  air.  To  adapt  this  space  to  our 
needs,  the  partition  between  the  former  kitchen  and 
dining-room  was  removed,  the  table  cut  down  to  half 
its  original  size,  and  a  small  stove  set  up  nearly  in 
the  centre  of  the  front  half  of  the  room.  The  stove- 
pipe, a  home-made  affair,  constructed  of  two  sheets 
of  corrugated  iron  wired  and  riveted  together,  was 
carried  up  through  one  of  the  ventilator  shafts,  where 
it  was  wrapped  with  asbestos  to  prevent  the  possibil- 
ity of  igniting  the  woodwork,  and  perhaps  turning  us 
out  homeless  into  the  Arctic  night.  Under  the 
windows  a  wide  bench  was  built,  extending  the  entire 
width  of  the  room.  A  big  bearskin  was  thrown  over 
this,  and  by  day  it  served  as  a  seat,  while  at  night  it 
formed  my  couch.  From  it,  up  to  the  time  that  the 
intense  cold  compelled  me  to  nail  a  blanket  across 
the  windows,  and  paper  over  them,  I  could,  without 
rising,  look  out  in  twilight,  or  moonlight,  or  starlight, 
upon  my  frozen  world. 

Fall  Hunting,  etc.  311 

The  rear  portion  of  the  room  was  to  serve  as  a 
sleeping"  apartment  for  Lee  and  Matt,  and  a  plat- 
form was  constructed  across  the  front  of  it,  three  feet 
above  the  floor,  and  six  feet  from  the  rear  wall.  The 
heads  of  the  cots  rested  on  this  platform,  and  their 
feet  were  supported  on  a  cleat  fastened  to  the  rear 
wall.  This  arrangement  of  the  cots  was  something 
after  the  Eskimo  method,  lifting  the  occupants  out 
of  the  low  temperature  near  the  floor,  and  permit- 
ting a  free  circulation  of  air.  Blanket  curtains  to 
these  cots  and  my  couch,  which  could  be  drawn  at 
will,  rendered  them  quite  cosy.  Under  the  platform 
and  near  the  stove,  shelves  were  put  up  for  the  cur- 
rent supplies  of  flour,  corn-meal,  sugar,  coffee,  etc., 
and  the  space  back  of  these  offered  a  convenient 
storaofe  room.  Along:  the  east  wall  of  the  room  were 
two  cupboards,  one  for  dishes  and  books,  the  other 
for  medicines.  Along  the  floor  on  the  west  wall  were 
our  water  tank  (a  ten-gallon  milk-can),  and  the  gun- 
rack,  containing  two  Winchester  lo-gauge  shotguns, 
two  45-calibre  Winchester  repeaters,  three  44-calibre 
Winchester  carbines,  and  a  Daly  three-barrel,  which, 
after  having  twice  burst,  and  twice  been  cut  down, 
was  now  seventeen  and  a  half  inches  long  in  the 
barrel,  and  looked  like  a  Mafia  weapon. 

This  arsenal  with  filled  magazines  represented  sixty- 
four  shots.  A  pair  of  six-shooters  hanging  in  the 
corner  under  the  barograph,  and  Matt's  carbine  slung 
over  his  bed,  added  twenty-four  more,  or  a  total  of 
eighty-eight  shots,  in  immediate  readiness  for  an  attack 
by  bears,  deer,  foxes,  natives,  or  other  equally  danger- 
ous animals. 

Above  the  gun-rack  were  the  clock,  thermometers, 
barometers,  barograph,  and  chronometers.  Finally, 
the  entire  walls  and  ceiling  were  papered  by  Lee  with 
full-page  pictures  from  our  store  of  illustrated  papers. 


















Fall  Huntino:,  etc.  313 


partly  to  stop  the  cracks  and  keep  out  the  cold,  partly 
as  a  decoration.  These  pictures,  with  three  barrel 
hoops  suspended  around  the  stovepipe  near  the  ceil- 
ing, for  drying  mittens,  kamiks  (boots),  stockings, 
and  so  on  ;  one  of  the  nets  used  in  catching  little 
auks,  suspended  near  the  ceiling,  for  drying  grass  for 
our  kamiks  ;  a  coal  bucket ;  and  a  molasses  keg  for 
a  chair,  completed  the  furniture  and  adornments  of 
the  room. 

The  bulk  of  this  work  was  done  by  Lee  during  my 
absence  on  the  boat  trip,  the  minor  details  were  added 
from  time  to  time,  as  necessity  suggested  and  oppor- 
tunity permitted.     So  much  for  the  interior. 

The  consumption  of  the  supplies,  and  the  utilisa- 
tion of  the  boxes  and  barrels  containing  them  for 
fuel  the  previous  year,  had  done  away  with  the  greater 
portion  of  the  corridor  wall  surrounding  the  house, 
leaving  only  that  along  the  rear  and  a  portion  of  the 
west  end.  Deprived  of  this  outer  line  of  defence 
against  the  cold,  it  became  necessary  to  devise  some 
other  method  of  insulating  and  protecting  our  room. 
The  rooms  on  either  side  were  a  great  assistance,  but 
were  not  sufficient.  Immediately  after  my  return 
from  Cape  York,  and  while  Matt  was  away  at  Kan- 
gerdlooksoah,  the  remaining  bales  of  hay  were  opened, 
spread  upon  the  rocks,  thoroughly  dried  in  the  wind 
and  last  of  the  sunshine,  and  the  spaces  between  the 
inner  and  outer  shells  of  the  house  filled  with  the 
hay.  Later,  when  the  long  night  commenced,  and 
daylight  had  vanished,  the  skylight  was  covered  a 
foot  thick  with  the  same  material. 

The  partition  between  our  quarters  and  the  main 
room  was  re-enforced  by  a  wall  of  hay  two  and  a  half 
feet  thick,  extending  from  floor  to  ceiling.  A  small 
vestibule  with  double  doors  completed  the  protection 
on  this  side.     The  double  partition  between  our  room 

Fall  Hunting,  etc.  315 

and  the  one  on  the  west  was  made  tight  by  closely  pack- 
ing with  furs.  In  the  west  room,  our  furs,  fur  clothing, 
and  lighter  and  more  important  articles  of  equipment 
were  kept,  while  the  large  eastern  room  served  as 
storeroom,  workroom,  and  guest-chamber.  At  the 
end  of  the  latter,  stood  a  rude  stove  of  corrugated 
iron,  supported  on  the  base-plate  of  the  launch  boiler  ; 
and  the  back  part  of  the  room  was  occupied  by  the 
coal-bin,  a  cask  of  biscuit,  a  barrel  of  sugar,  and  a 
rude  table,  on  which  burned  constantly  an  Eskimo 
stone  lamp.  There  was  a  broad  seat  also,  covered 
with  a  deerskin,  for  the  accommodation  of  our  seam- 
stresses ;  a  seat  on  which  they  could  sit  tailor-fashion 
while  sewing.  Entrance  to  our  quarters  was  effected 
through  this  room.  Here  my  walrus  meat  was  cut 
up  and  packed  ;  here  my  tent  was  made  ;  my  sledges 
assembled  and  lashed  ;  and  here  the  natives  gathered 
and  made  merry. 

The  best  that  we  could  do  in  the  way  of  exterior 
protection  was  to  range  my  four  big  biscuit-casks 
side  by  side  against  the  house  under  the  windows  of 
our  room,  with  their  tops  just  level  with  the  window- 
sills,  pack  the  spaces  between  them  and  the  house, 
also  the  junction  of  the  house  and  the  ground,  with 
hay,  then,  after  a  sufficient  quantity  of  snow  had  fal- 
len, bank  everything  with  it  to  a  height  of  three  or  four 
feet,  build  a  wall  of  snow  blocks  against  the  eastern 
end  of  the  house,  and  enclose  the  outer  door  with  a 
roomy  storm  entrance,  from  which  a  narrow  snow 
passage,  closed  by  a  second  door,  led  to  the  outer  air. 
This  snow  vestibule  also  afforded  entrance  to  the 
smaller  building,  formerly  the  studio,  but  now  the 
domicile  of  my  faithful  hunter  and  dog-driver,  Nook- 
tah, — the  father  of  "  Bill,"  the  little  girl  whom  Mrs. 
Peary  took  home  with  her, — and  his  family.  Should 
the  winter  prove  unusually  severe,  I  intended  to  pro- 



Fall  Hunting,  etc.  317 

tect  the  house  still  further  by  a  belt  of  snow  armour 
amidships,  extending  from  the  ground  up  the  walls, 
over  the  roof,  and  down  to  the  ground  again,  but  the 
necessity  for  this  never  arose. 

Thus,  in  our  little  house  within  a  house,  we  lived 
without  serious  discomforts. 

At  first,  the  quality  of  my  coal  gave  me  some 
trouble ;  but  after  I  commenced  screening  it  through 
a  discarded  wire  mattress,  thus  removing  the  dust 
and  dirt,  our  tiny  stove  kept  the  room  too  warm  for 
comfort,  until  I  bored  three  three-inch  holes  in  the 
bottom  of  the  door  leading  into  the  west  room.  This 
caused  a  powerful  and  steady  circulation,  and  kept 
the  room  entirely  comfortable.  At  no  time  was  there 
any  condensation  of  moisture  or  formation  of  ice  in 
the  room.  The  temperature  of  the  room,  at  all  times 
when  there  was  a  fire  in  the  stove,  was  high  enough 
for  comfort.  But,  as  the  fire  was  allowed  to  go  out 
when  we  turned  in,  the  temperature  would  fall  consid- 
erably by  the  time  the  fire  was  started  the  next  morn- 
ing, frequently  reaching  12°  and  13°  F.,  and,  on  one 
occasion,  8°  F. 

A  single  picture  of  my  own  corner  in  the  house 
where  we  spent  the  winter, — a  corner  which  served 
as  parlour,  sitting-room,  library,  dining-room,  kitchen, 
workshop,  and  bedroom, — will  give  an  idea  of  our  in- 
terior surroundings.' 

The  phenomena  of  night  and  day  in  the  Arctic 
regions  are  clear  to  very  few.  I  think  I  should  be  not 
far  from  the  truth  if  I  said  that  they  are  fully  under- 
stood only  by  those  who  have  spent  a  year  there. 

There  is  a  vague  appreciation  of  the  fact,  that  in 
very  high  latitudes  there  is  a  long  period  in  summer 

'  When  I  left  the  lodge  in  August,  1895,  I  gave  it  to  the  faithful  Eskimos 
who  went  on  the  ice-cap  with  me,  and  they  moved  into  it.  In  the  fall,  through 
the  carelessness  of  Ahtungahnaksoah,  it  caught  fire,  and  was  totally  consumed. 


Fall  Hunting,  etc.  319 

during- which  the  sun  never  sets,  and  it  is  constant  day  ; 
and  another  long  period  in  winter  during  which  it 
never  rises,  and  it  is  constant  night. 

We  hear  the  terms,  midnight  sun  and  noonday 
night,  and  remember  that  our  geographies  say  that  at 
the  Pole  there  is  only  one  night  and  one  day  in  the 
year.  Yet,  after  all,  we  have  no  clear  conception  of 
how  this  can  be. 

Let  us  see  if  we  can  come  to  a  somewhat  clearer 
understanding  of  the  subject.  Let  us  place  ourselves 
at  the  lodge,  the  latitude  of  which  is  ^'^°  40'  N.,  and 
its  distance  from  the  Pole,  therefore,  the  difference 
between  that  latitude  and  90°,  or  1 2°  20'.  We  grasp 
the  fact,  that  were  we  standing  at  the  Pole,  our  ac- 
tual visual  horizon  would  coincide  with  the  celestial 
equator,  and  that  every  heavenly  body  above  (north 
of)  that  equator  would  be  visible  to  us,  and  that  every 
heavenly  body  below  (south  of)  that  equator  would 
be  invisible. 

At  the  lodge,  as  already  noted,  we  are  12°  20' 
south  of  the  Pole  ;  consequently,  our  southern  (or 
noon)  horizon  has  dropped  12°  20'  below  the  celestial 
equator,  while  our  northern  (or  midnight)  horizon 
has  been  raised  an  equal  amount  above  the  celestial 
equator.      What  results  from  this  ? 

Any  heavenly  body  that  is  more  than  1 2°  20'  below 
(south  of)  the  celestial  equator  will  be  continuously 
invisible  {i.  e.,  will  never  rise)  ;  a  body  just  12°  20' 
below  the  equator  will  be  visible  only  for  a  moment 
when  it  is  precisely  south  of  us  ;  a  body  more  than 
12°  20'  above  (north  of)  the  celestial  equator  will  be 
continuously  visible  (i.  e.,  will  never  set)  ;  a  body  just 
12°  20'  above  the  equator  will  be  invisible  only  for  a 
moment  when  it  is  precisely  north  of  us  ;  and  a  heav- 
enly body  anywhere  between  the  limits  of  12°  20'  N. 
and  1 2°  20'  S.  of  the  equator  will  rise  and  set  in  the 

sa  iinii 

Fall  Hunting,  etc.  321 

usual  way.  We  all  know  that  the  sun  is  north  of  the 
equator  during  a  portion  of  the  year,  and  south  of  it 
the  remainder.  It  swinofs  back  and  forth  like  a  sen- 
tinel  on  his  beat,  in  a  path  extending  from  23-^°  north 
of  the  equator  to  23^°  south  of  it,  and  is  at  the 
northern  extremity  of  its  beat  on  the  21st  of  June  and 
at  the  southern  on  the  21st  of  December. 

Now  what  is  the  effect  of  these  facts,  and  these 
movements  of  the  god  of  day  upon  our  days  at  the 
lodge  ? 

Just  as  long  as  the  sun  is  more  than  12°  20'  north 
of  the  equator,  he  will  be  continuously  above  the 
horizon  day  after  day  throughout  the  twenty-four 
hours  (the  long  Arctic  summer  day)  ;  just  as  long  as 
he  is  between  12°  20'  north,  and  12°  20'  south,  he  will 
be  visible  part  of  the  twenty-four  hours  and  invisible 
the  remainder,  i.  e.,  will  rise  and  set  in  the  way  famil- 
iar to  us  here  at  home  ;  and  just  as  long  as  the  sun  is 
more  than  12°  20'  south  of  the  equator,  he  will  be 
continuously  below  the  horizon  and  entirely  invisible 
day  after  day  throughout  the  twenty-four  hours  (the 
long  Arctic  winter  night). 

Let  us  assume  it  to  be  the  21st  of  June  at  the 
lodge,  mid-noon  of  the  summer ;  the  sun  is  at  its 
maximum  northern  declination,  23°  27',  and  at  noon 
on  that  day  is  35°  47'  above  the  southern  horizon,  and 
at  midnight  is  1 1°  7'  above  the  northern  horizon. 

Slowly,  day  by  day,  the  sun  drops  lower  (goes 
south)  until  on  August  20th  its  northern  declination  is 
but  12°  20',  and  at  midnight  it  is  just  on  the  northern 
horizon  ;  the  next  night  it  disappears  entirely  for  a 
few  moments,  and  the  long  summer  day  (four  months 
for  this  latitude)  is  at  an  end.  Each  day,  the  time 
that  the  sun  remains  invisible  rapidly  increases, 
though  it  is  bright  daylight  all  the  time,  until  on  Sep- 
tember 2 1  St  the  sun  reaches  the  equator,  sets  at  six 

VOL.  II. — 21 


Fall  Hunting,  etc.  323 

o'clock,  rises  at  six  the  next  morning,  and  day  and 
night,  as  everywhere  else  on  the  earth,  from  north 
pole  to  south  pole,  are  equal  in  length.  Even  now, 
however,  there  is  a  brilliant  twilight,  amounting  to 
almost  full  daylight,  for  some  three  hours  after  sun- 
set, and  an  equal  time  before  sunrise. 

Still  farther  and  farther  southward  drops  the  sun, 
and  each  day  the  light  with  startling  rapidity  shrinks 
and  dwindles  in  the  cruel  grasp  of  night. 

On  the  25th  of  October,  the  sun's  declination  is 
12°  20'  south,  and  if  it  is  clear  on  that  day  he  will  be 
seen  for  a  moment  at  noon  on  the  southern  horizon  ; 
the  next  day  he  does  not  appear,  and  the  long  Arctic 
winter  night  has  commenced. 

There  are  still  a  few  hours  of  twilight  at  noon,  but 
the  sun  is  yet  a  long  distance  from  the  southern  limit 
of  his  beat,  and  day  by  day  this  twilight  fades  and 
sinks  below  the  horizon,  until  at  last  there  is  no  differ- 
ence between  the  southern  and  the  northern  horizon 
at  noon,  and  the  midnight  of  the  "  Great  Night"  (De- 
cember 2ist)  arrives  and  passes.  By  January  15th,  a 
faint  narrow  band  of  twilight  is  visible  in  the  south  ; 
on  February  14th,  the  sun  has  returned  to  12°  20' 
south  declination,  and  peeps  for  a  moment  at  noon 
above  the  southern  horizon. 

Rapidly  now  the  darkness  recedes.  March  21st, 
day  and  night  are  again  equal  throughout  the  globe, 
and  now  the  exultant  light  rapidly  drives  its  antagon- 
ist from  the  field.  April  26th,  the  sun  has  reached 
12°  20'  north  declination,  and  is  now  continuously 
above  the  horizon;  it  is  dawn  of  the  "Great  Day"; 
the  brilliant  glowing  Arctic  summer  has  commenced, 
and  the  wild  reaches  of  snow  and  ice  and  ragged  cliffs 
which  surround  the  Pole  lie  in  incessant  light. 

Every  sojourner  for  a  winter  within  the  Arctic  Cir- 
cle  has    made  the    departure   and  return  of  the  sun 

324       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

occasions  for  a  display  of  thoughts  and  emotions, 
gloomy  and  sad  in  the  former  instance,  and  bright  and 
joyous  in  the  latter. 

With  an  experience  of  three  winters  in  high  Arctic 
latitudes,  my  own  sensations  have  never  been  similar. 
The  departure  of  the  sun  has  never  seriously  im- 
pressed me  ;  in  fact  the  Arctic  landscape  then  does 
not  show  half  the  savage  sombreness  that  it  does 
when  seen  through  the  dead-grey  noon  twilight  of 
two  or  three  weeks  later,  especially  if  viewed  from  the 
ice-cap.  Neither  has  the  return  of  the  sun  seemed 
joyous,  but  quite  the  contrary.  Of  the  two  events, 
the  latter  to  me  is  the  sadder.  At  the  departure 
of  the  sun,  one  does  not  realise  its  meaning.  We 
look  upon  the  landscape,  as  upon  the  face  of  a  dear 
one  just  dead.  It  is  yet  warm  and  soft,  perhaps  there 
is  still  a  slight  flush,  we  cannot  believe  the  light  is 
gone  forever  ;  while  the  steely  rays  of  the  returning 
sun  light  the  ghastly  pallor  of  a  white  and  frozen 
landscape,  a  corpse  stiff  with  rigor  mortis,  revealing 
every  drawn  feature,  every  harsh  line,  that  life  and 
warmth  had  masked. 



Brilliant  Moonlight — Karnah,  Netiulumi,  and  Cape  Parry — Along 
THE  Outer  Coast — A  False  Alarm — Raised  Beaches — An  Arctic  Trag- 
edy— A  Winter  Anoahtaksoah — Piblockto — Cape  York — Kyoahpahdu. 
the  Medicine  Man. 




URING  the  De- 
cember moon, 
Lee  and  myself 
went  to  Cape  York,  leav- 
ino-  the  lod^e  on  the  loth 
and  returning  on  the  24th. 
One  of  the  main  ob- 
jects of  the  trip  was  to 
determine  accurately  the 
positions  of  the  promi- 
nent points  of  the  coast,  as 
Capes  Parry,  Athol,  and 
York,  Conical  Rock,  etc.,  but  the  frozen  conden- 
sation from  the  North  Water,  which  was  steaming 
like  a  huge  black  cauldron,  shrouded  the  coast  in  a 
silvery  veil,  and  rendered  the  stars  invisible  most  of 
the  time. 

At  two  A.M.  of  the  loth,  I  left  the  lodge  with  Lee, 
Ingeropahdoo  (or  "  Freckles"),  and  Alakasingwah  for 
Karnah.  Lee  had  "  Freckles's "  sledtre  and  three 
dogs,  while  the  rest  of  us,  together  with  the  impedi- 
menta of  our  trip,  occupied  the  big  sledge  recently 
purchased  from  Tellikotinah,  drawn  by  six  dogs. 
The  last  observations  for  time  had  just  been  com- 
pleted and  the  transit  taken  down  and  lashed  on  the 


Z2^       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

sledge.  The  snow  on  the  bay  was  firm  and  fairly 
smooth.  Orion,  blazing  in  scintillant  splendour  above 
the  Tigerahomi  cliffs,  dominated  the  southern  sky  ; 
and  the  surface  of  the  bay,  and  every  line  of  the  dark 
guarding  cliffs,  stood  out  sharp  and  clear  in  the  bril- 
liant moonlight. 

The  giant  statues  of  the  Sculptured  Cliffs  of  Kar- 
nah  were  still  holding  silent  communion  with  each 
other  as  we  passed  beneath  them.  Just  outside  of 
Karnah,  in  the  rough  ice  lying  against  the  shore,  a 
piece  of  my  ivory  sledge  shoe  was  torn  off,  and  while 
**  Freckles  "  was  repairing  it,  I  walked   on   ahead  to 


the  village,  and  proceeded  at  once  to  the  commodious 
igloo  of  Kardah. 

Remembering  vividly  my  last  experience  in  his 
igloo,  I  politely  requested  the  master  of  the  house 
to  keep  children  out  and  maintain  quiet  while  I 
slept.  This  he  did  effectually,  and  once  or  twice  I 
was  half  conscious  of  his  voice  silencing  the  gossip- 
ing women  with  "  OkaJilooktoo  naggah  "  ("  Stop  your 
talking  "  ).  At  six  p.m.,  with  only  "  Freckles  "  and  my- 
self on  my  big  sledge  drawn  now  by  nine  dogs,  I 
bumped  over  the  broad  Karnah  ice-foot,  and  dashed 
out  upon  the  dazzling  moonlit  expanse  of  the  Sound, 
for  Netiulumi  on  the  south  shore.      Lee  with  "  Freck- 

December  Journey  to  Cape  York        329 

les's"  wife  and  child,  and  Myall  and  Ihrllie,  accom- 
panied us  on  two  sledges. 

The  broad  Sound  was  a  sea  of  silvery  light,  and 
the  brilliant  moonlight  brought  out  in  glistening 
splendour  the  numerous  glaciers  of  the  distant  south 
shore.  Our  course  lay  straight  past  the  eastern  end 
of  Herbert  Island,  and  in  a  patch  of  rough  ice  off  the 
great  bluff,  "  Freckles's"  sledge  lost  a  piece  of  shoe, 
and  this  caused  a  long  delay  for  repairs. 

Finally  at  three  in  the  morning  I  reached  Netiu- 
lumi,  and  went  at  once  to  the  igloo  of  Tellikotinah. 
By  the  time  Madame  Tellikotinah  had  the  water  on 
for  our  coffee,  Lee  came  in  from  a  tour  of  the  village, 
and  a  call  upon  the  happy  young  mother  Ahwe- 
aungwonah  (alias  Jessie). 

I  was  anxious  to  get  to  Cape  Parry  by  three  in  the 
afternoon,  to  use  certain  stars  for  my  observations, 
and  our  hours  for  sleep  were  therefore  limited. 
While  we  were  sleeping,  the  lady  of  the  house  melted 
snow  for  our  coffee,  and  the  water  was  hot  when  at 
eleven  a.m.  I  was  awakened  by  my  alarm  clock,  taken 
on  this  trip  as  an  experiment.  Necessary  repairs  to 
the  sledge,  which  "  Freckles "  had  failed  to  make 
when  we  first  arrived,  delayed  me  somewhat,  and  irri- 
tated by  this,  I  discharged  him  and  engaged  a  new 
driver.  At  last  I  dashed  away  from  the  ice-foot,  and 
with  fresh  dogs,  over  smooth  ice,  in  the  bright  moon- 
light, galloped  westward  for  the  black  front  of 
Kangahsuk  (the  Great  Cape,  Cape  Parry). 

Tellikotinah,  wife,  and  daughter  on  one  sledge,  and 
little  Kessuh  on  another,  accompanied  us.  With 
favourable  conditions  of  ice,  and  ample  light,  the  dogs 
were  pushed  rapidly  along,  and  in  two  hours  and  a 
half  we  whirled  around  the  now  ice-bound  black 
angle  of  the  Great  Cape.  Half  an  hour  previous 
a  bank  of  clouds  from  the  south-west  had  blotted  out 

330       Northward  over  the  ''Great  Ice" 

the  stars,  and  a  raw  wind  was  blowing  round  the 
cape,  just  as  it  did  the  day  that  Lee,  TelHkotinah, 
and  I  rounded  it  on  our  way  to  Cape  York  the  pre- 
vious May. 

Observations  were  out  of  the  question,  but  a  short 
stop  was  made  under  the  beethng  diff  for  Kessuh  to 

repair  his  sledge, 
and  while  he  was 
doing  this,  Telli- 
kotinah  took  me 
up  over  the  ice- 
foot and  showed 
me  a  cave,  which, 
like  the  one  near 
Petowik  Glacier, 
is  a  frequent  ref- 
uge and  sleep- 
ing-place for  the 
natives  journey- 
ing along  the 

From  the  cape 
we  went  directly 
westward  to  get 
outside  of  the 
rough  ice  lying 
jammed  against 
the  shore ;  but, 
scarcely  a  mile 
distant  from  th^ 
cape,  we  came  upon  young  ice,  so  thin  as  to  be  unsafe, 
the  point  of  the  seal  harpoon,  with  which  it  was  tested, 
penetrating  it  at  the  least  blow.  A  few  hundred 
yards  farther  was  the  inky  North  Water.  We  were 
thus  compelled  to  stick  to  the  old  rough  ice,  but,  aided 
by  the  bright  moonlight,  a  practicable  route  was  found 


December  Journey  to  Cape  York        331 

through  the  crystal  chaos,  and  I  drove  southward 
past  the  famihar  points  of  this  coast,  Anoah  Glacier, 
lennah,  Tessuissak,  black  Pooeenyah,  Ignimut  Glac- 
ier, Oobloodahingwah,  and  the  Land  of  Noogli. 
Opposite  the  point  of  the  latter,  we  emerged  from 
the  rough  ice  upon  the  smooth  expanse  of  Wolsten- 
holm  Sound,  extending  white  and  glistening  to  the 
carnelian  cliffs  of  Saunders  Island  and  the  shadowy 
formof  Wolsten- 
holm  Island. 

Several  bear 
tracks  were  seen : 
in  one  place  two 
big  fellows  had 
followed  an  old 
sledge  track  for 
some  distance, 
and  once  we  had 
a  bit  of  excite- 
ment when  Kes- 
suh's  team,  two  of 
the  dogs  in  which 
I  knew  to  be  ex- 
perienced bear 
hunters,  swerved 
suddenly  from 
the  course,  and 
dashed  madly 
over  the  ice  to 
windward.  In  a  few  moments  I  saw  Kessuh  lean  for- 
ward and  cut  a  trace.  The  dog  thus  liberated  leaped 
rapidly  forward  and  disappeared  in  the  broken  ice, 
while  the  others,  with  Lee  and  Kessuh  running  at  the 
upstanders  of  the  sledge,  followed  on  his  trail.  Ihrllie 
and  I  both  jumped  off  our  sledge,  and  each  with  a 
hand  on  an  upstander,  urged  on  our  team,  excited. 


2)2>^       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

but  handicapped  by  the  heavy  load.  TeUikotinah, 
who  was  ahead,  observing  the  excitement,  dumped 
his  wife  and  daughter  unceremoniously  in  the  snow, 
and  came  dashing  back  to  join  the  chase.  When  we 
again  caught  a  glimpse  of  Kessuh's  team  I  saw  that 
another  dog  had  been  cut  loose,  and  soon  we  saw  the 
two  tearing  about  in  the  broken  ice. 

We  could  see  no  bear,  but  his  colour  might  easily 
make  him  invisible,  and  I  hurried  forward  as  fast  as 
I  could  run  to  have  a  shot  at  him.  As  I  passed 
Kessuh  the  dogs  ceased  their  antics,  and  when  I  came 
up  to  them  were  eating  snow  at  a  seal's  breathing 
hole.  My  breathless  disgust  at  such  a  finale,  after 
running  in  my  furs  through  the  heavy  snow,  is  not 
necessary  of  description. 

I  fear  that  I  expended  some  of  my  little  remaining 
wind  in  unbecoming  language  concerning  the  intellect- 
ual calibre  of  Kessuh's  favourites. 

However,  the  episode  enlivened  the  monotony  of 
the  long  journey,  and  knowing  that  there  was  a  warm 
igloo  at  its  end,  and  a  cafe-au-lait  hostess  to  dry  my 
perspiration-saturated  clothes  over  her  lamp  while  I 
slept,  I  soon  recovered  my  equanimity,  and  when  we 
came  up  with  disconsolate  Mrs.  and  Miss  TeUikotinah, 
everyone  was  in  good  humour  again. 

While  crossing  the  Sound  more  bear  tracks  were 
seen,  some  of  them  quite  fresh,  then  we  reached  the 
shadow  of  the  Saunders  Island  Cliffs,  and  after  wind- 
ing along  under  them  a  few  miles,  arrived  at  the  settle- 
ment of  Akpani,  fourteen  hours  from  Netiulumi. 

There  was  but  one  igloo  in  commission  here,  and 
that  occupied  by  Ahngeenyah  and  Ahngodoblaho  and 
their  families.  The  snow  houses  and  enclosures  for 
meat  and  dogs  gave  the  place  the  appearance,  from 
the  ice-foot,  of  quite  a  village.  A  snow  igloo  was 
built,  into  which  the  younger  inmates  of  the  house 

December  Journey  to  Cape  York        333 

were  bundled,  to  make  room  for  my  party  in  the  stone 

At  three  p.m.  I  was  up  again  setting  up  the  transit, 
and  between  my  star  sights  I  strolled  over  the  flat, 
raised,  triangular  patch  of  detritus  lying  at  the  foot 
of  the  western  cliffs  of  the  island.  This  triangular 
bit  of  foreshore  seems  to  be  identical  in  appearance 
with  the  one  which  I  noticed  on  the  eastern  side  of 
the  island   during  last  spring's    sledge  trip  to  Cape 


York,  formed  originally  under  water  by  tidal  eddies, 
and  then  raised  to  its  present  position  by  the  gradual 
elevation  of  this  region. 

On  the  very  crest  of  the  bank,  at  the  outer  or 
western  apex  of  the  triangle,  is  located  the  group  of 
igloos  (three  double  and  three  single)  forming  the 

Northward  from  the  village  to  the  northern  end  of 
the  island,  extend  the  great  bird  cliffs  rising  perpen- 
dicularly from  the  sea.      In  summer  on  these  cliffs  the 

334       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

sea-birds  are  "  thick  as  leaves  in  Vallombrosa  "  ;  now 
the  great  rampart  was  death-Hke  in  its  frozen  stihness. 
Several  of  the  natives  have  lost  their  lives  while  get- 
ting birds  and  eggs  here,  and  the  last  of  these  trage- 
dies was  the  result  of  those  fierce  human  passions, 
which  are  the  same  the  world  over,  whether  the  set- 
ting be  tropical  or  hyperborean.  One  of  two  friends 
coveted  the  other's  wife,  but  lacked  the  strength  or 
courage  to  take  possession  of  her,  as  is  the  custom  of 
these  people. 

At  last  one  summer  day  his  opportunity  came. 
He  and  his  friend  were  gathering  birds'  eggs  from 
the  great  cliffs,  he  on  the  summit  holding  one  end  of 
a  long  rawhide  line,  his  friend  suspended  from  the 
other  down  the  face  of  the  cliff.  Nothing  was  sim- 
pler than  to  loosen  his  grasp.  The  rope  slipped 
through  his  hands  ;  the  sound  of  a  soft  shapeless  mass 
fallincr  from  ledo^e  to  ledo^e,  and  changrinor  colour  from 
brown  to  red,  was  drowned  in  the  roar  of  millions  of 
startled  sea-birds'  wings  ;  a  spot  of  blood-stained  foam, 
with  circles  widening  from  it,  flashed  for  an  instant 
upon  the  deep  green  water  hundreds  of  feet  below  ; 
and  to-day  the  murderer  is  living  with  his  victim's 

The  two  natives  at  Akpani  had  been  very  success- 
ful in  their  fall  hunting.  In  addition  to  several  seals, 
they  had  killed  six  walrus,  a  bear,  and  an  oogsook, 
out  to  the  westward  ;  and  piles  of  meat  were  stacked 
on  the  level  top  of  the  ice-foot,  in  front  of  the  igloo. 

While  I  slept,  Ahngodoblaho  fed  my  dogs  and  re- 
paired my  sledge,  reinforcing  the  points  with  walrus 
hide,  which,  when  frozen,  is  the  toughest  and  most 
unbreakable  of  all  substances. 

Leaving  the  village  of  Akpani,  three  and  a  half 
hours  of  orood  travelling  across  the  southern  arm  of 
Wolstenholm  Sound,  brought  us  at  midnight  to  Cape 

December  Journey  to  Cape  York        335 

Athol,  where  on  my  return  from  the  ship  last  August  I 
had  landed  from  my  whale-boat  to  reconnoitre  the  ice. 

The  night  was  perfect  for  my  observations,  not  a 
breath  of  air  stirring,  and  while  I  set  up  the  transit 
and  took  my  first  sight,  Tellikotinah  built  a  small 
snow  igloo  in  which  he  started  two  lamps,  and  during 
the  five  hours'  stop  here,  several  cups  of  hot  coffee 
took  the  chill  off  the  night  air  most  effectually.  From 
Cape  Athol  I  again  drove  southward,  past  the  well- 


known  landmarks  of  this  coast,  all  sharp  and  distinct 
in  the  brilliant  moonlight ;  crossed  without  difficulty 
in  front  of  the  Petowik  Glacier,  where  last  May  I  had 
toiled  so  wearily  through  the  slush  and  round  the 
leads  ;  and  reached  the  settlement  of  Ipsueshaw,  at 
the  head  of  Parker  Snow  Bay,  at  12:30  p.m. 

One  stone  and  two  snow  igloos  comprised  the  vil- 
lage here  ;  the  former  occupied  by  two  families,  the 
latter  by  one  each. 

33^        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

In  the  stone  igloo  was  our  old  friend  of  Red  Cliff, 
Nuikingwah,  with  three  children  ;  one  a  bright-faced 
manly  boy  of  perhaps  twelve  years,  another  equally 
bright-faced  laughing  little  girl  of  perhaps  four  years, 
and  the  third,  the  baby  Bur-off  (Verhoeff).  The 
other  family  in  the  igloo  was  that  of  her  married  son 

This  woman  Nuikingwah  is  a  model  woman, 
plump,  matronly,  cleanly,  and  smiling  ;  the  mother 
of  a  little  girl  and  four  handsome,  intelligent,  active 


sons,  two  married  and  all  good  hunters  ;  the  two  still 
with  her  dressed  in  the  best  manner  with  nicely  made 
kapetahs,  nannookies,  and  kamiks.  The  arrival  of 
our  party  of  nine  was  quite  a  tax  on  the  accommoda- 
tions of  the  place,  but  Lee  found  room  in  one  of  the 
snow  igloos  occupied  by  our  host  of  last  May  at  Cape 
York,  good  old  Tahweenyah,  and  his  equally  good 
old  wife  Simiah  ;  while  I  lodged  in  the  stone  igloo, 
and  Tellikotinah  built  a  snow  one  for  himself  and 
family.  After  a  good  sleep  and  a  cup  of  coffee,  I  was 
out  at  five  a.m.  of  Monday  the  14th,  to  make,  with  Lee's 

December  Journey  to  Cape  York        337 

assistance,  my  observations.  The  observations  were 
not  entirely  satisfactory,  owing  to  a  fresh  breeze  blow- 
ing down  from  the  glacier  at  the  head  of  the  bay, 
and  sweeping  noisily  over  the  village,  loaded  with 
fine  drift.  I  had  hoped  to  start  immediately  after  the 
observations,  but  the  increasing  force  of  the  wind,  the 
glistening  silver  mist  which  was  gradually  hiding  the 
crest  of  the  cliffs 
on  the  opposite 
side  of  the  bay, 
and  the  low  mur- 
mur coming  from 
the  same  direc- 
tion, were  unfail- 
ing signs  that  an 
anoataksoah  was 
next  in  order,  and 
that  it  would  be 
folly  to  start  for 
Cape  York  un- 
til its  force  was 
spent,  so  we  re- 
signed ourselves, 
as  best  we  could, 
to  the  inevitable 

The  crest  of 
the  cliffs  with- 
drew behind  a  veil  of  silvery  haze,  the  sigh  grew  to 
a  continuous  roar,  the  light  of  the  moon  paled  and 
disappeared,  and  then  the  demon  of  the  Great  Ice, 
wrapped  in  blinding  clouds  of  snow,  rushed  down  from 
his  lair,  beat  against  the  unyielding  cliffs,  shrieked 
through  their  clefts,  and  carved  the  frozen  snow  into 
marble  waves,  throwing  the  stinging  foam  aloft  till 
neither  man  nor  beast  might  face  the  fury  and  live. 


338        Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  " 

This  settlement  of  Ipsueshaw,  so  named  from  the 
abundance  of  grass  in  the  vicinity,  is  located  at  the 
western  end  of  a  low  shore,  curving  round  the  head 
of  Parker  Snow  Bay,  from  the  vertical  bird  cliffs  which 
wall  it  to  the  north  ;  and  comprises  two  permanent 
stone  igloos. 

Additional  snow  igloos  were  half  built,  half  exca- 
vated in  the  overhanging  drift  formed  under  the  steep 
bank  of  the  shore. 

So  close  to  the  water  were  these  igloos,  that  the 
entrance  and  part  of  the  front  wall  of  one  of  them 
were  shattered  while  we  were  there,  by  the  lifting  of 
the  ice-foot  under  the  enormous  pressure  of  the  spring 
tides.  Just  back  of  the  igloos,  at  the  foot  of  the  bluff, 
there  grows  such  an  abundance  of  long  soft  grass, 
that  Tellikotinah,  in  less  than  half  an  hour,  cut  enough 
to  cover  the  bed  platform  in  his  igloo  a  foot  thick. 
The  proximity  of  the  bird  cliffs  makes  the  foxes  nu- 
merous here,  and  there  are  deer  in  abundance  on  the 
uplands.  All  Friday  afternoon  and  night,  Saturday 
and  Saturday  night,  and  Sunday  forenoon  the  storm 
continued,  keeping  us  unwilling  prisoners. 

The  incessant  cutting  wind  made  the  dogs  uneasy, 
and  twice  they  chewed  their  harnesses  and  traces  to 
almost  utter  destruction. 

Then    our    provisions    got    so    low    that  we   were 

oblieed  to  beo^in  upon  walrus  meat. 

About  six  P.M.  Sunday  we  started  southward  agam. 

When  the  does  were  beine  harnessed,  I  discovered 

that  the  affectionate  white  Ikwahdog  had  been  seized 

by  the  dread  piblockto  or  Arctic  hydrophobia,  and  I 

was  obliged  to  shoot  him. 

Passing  out  of  the  bay,  we  went  close  under  the 

cliffs  of  Parker  Snow  Point  to  its  southern  extremity, 

known  as  Akpani  by  the  natives,  then  from  Conical 

Rock  headed   seaward  to  avoid  the  deep  snow  and 

December  Journey  to  Cape  York        339 

rough  ice  near  the  shore.  The  moon  did  not  rise  to 
mve  us  the  benefit  of  its  Hcrht  until  towards  midnicrht. 
After  that  we  had  httle  trouble  in  avoiding  the  patches 
of  roughest  ice,  except  in  one  instance  when  we  got 
caught  in  a  pocket,  and  had  to  traverse  something 
like  half  a  mile  of  it.  This  was  enough  to  rip  two  or 
three  pieces  of  ivory  off  the  bottom  of  my  sledge,  and 
cause  a  long  delay  in  repairing. 

The  rough  ice  in  this  vicinity  was  apparently  the 


same  that  was  lying  along  this  coast,  when  I  was  here 
in  the  Falcon,  August  27th  and  28th,  and  to  avoid  it 
we  travelled  almost  due  south  until  abreast  of  the 
cape,  then  turned  directly  eastward  towards  it. 

After  the  moon  rose,  the  savage  coast,  broken  by 
its  numerous  glaciers,  stood  out  so  sharp  and  clear, 
that  though  several  miles  distant  it  seemed  close  at 
hand.  We  arrived  at  the  most  southerly  of  the  igloos 
comprising  the  winter's  settlement  at  Cape  York, 
about  six  a.m.  of   Monday  the   17th.      Two  stone  ig- 

340        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

loos,  one  occupied  by  Tahwana  and  his  numerous 
family,  and  the  other  by  Kyoahpahdu  the  aiigakok, 
were  situated  a  hundred  feet  or  more  above  sea-level, 
on  a  slope  so  steep,  that  now,  when  it  was  covered 
with  snow,  it  was  almost  impossible  to  maintain  a 

Tellikotinah  and  his  family  went  to  Tahwana's 
igloo,  while  Lee  and  I  went  to  the  more  cleanly  and 
less  crowded  residence  of  Kyo. 

Here  we  were  most  hospitably  entertained,  the 
great  medicine-man  laying  aside  his  dignity  like  a 
garment  in  the  presence  of  his  distinguished  guests, 
and  in  return  for  the  privilege  of  sharing  our  coffee, 
prepared  with  his  own  hand  our  repast  of  boiled  seal 
meat,  cleaning  the  stone  pot  carefully,  selecting  the 
choicest  pieces,  and  using  the  cleanest  snow  from 
which  to  melt  the  water. 



Rough  Ice  and  Unpropitious  Weather — Steering  by  the  Stars — 
Eskimo  Hospitality — An  Arctic  Caravan — A  Midnight  Cataclysm — 
Indescribable  Going — Passe  Meat — A  Forced  March  without  Food 
OR  Sleep. 



WHEN,  on  awak- 
ening from  my 
first  sleep  at 
Cape  York,  I  stepped  out 
of  the  igloo,  I  found  every 
star  blotted  out,  the  wind 
whistling  past  the  face  of 
the  cliffs,  and  a  light  dust 
of  snow  falline. 

Again  I  was  obliged  to 
possess  my  soul  in  pa- 
tience, and  await  the 
pleasure  of  the  weather  demon  that  haunts  this  infer- 
nal cape.  Finally,  on  Tuesday  afternoon  and  Wednes- 
day morning,  I  was  able  to  make  my  observations, 
though  not  under  the  most  favourable  conditions,  and 
at  10:45  ^•^^-  I  started  on  my  return. 

I  had  on  the  sledge  a  good  supply  of  bearskin  for 
our  ice-cap  costumes,  and  had  filled  the  gap  made  in 
my  team  by  the  death  of  the  Ikwah  dog,  with  the 
powerful  big  Panikpah  clog  that  escaped  from  Lee's 
team  near  Petowik  last  May,  and  had  been  caught 
and  kept  by  Kyoahpahdu  since. 

As  I  rounded  the  cape,  I  found  the  wind  blowing 
with   much  violence,   though,   fortunately,   somewhat 


344       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

at  our  backs.  Out  to  the  westward  it  was  too  thick 
with  the  flying  drift  for  me  to  risk  the  outside  pass- 
age. My  young  driver  was  much  frightened  at  the 
prospect,  and  said  he  was  afraid  he  should  be  cold 
and  die.  With  many  misgivings,  and  visions  of 
broken  sledges,  and  a  comfortable  (?)  night  or  two 
behind  some  rock,  without  fire,  drink,  or  food,  I  told 
him  to  take  the  inside  passage,  through  the  rough 
ice,  close  to  the  shore. 

Late  in  the  afternoon,  my  team  suddenly  quick- 
ened its  pace,  and,  looking  shoreward,  I   saw  a  faint 


light,  which  proved  to  be  that  from  the  snow  igloo 
of  Annowkah.  He  and  his  wife  were  sleeping 
soundly  when  I  crawled  into  the  entrance,  as  I  could 
see  through  a  hole  in  the  sealskin  with  which  they 
had  closed  the  door.  I  made  no  attempt  to  enter, 
as  I  did  not  wish  to  stop  here,  but  told  Ihrllie  to  bor- 
row a  piece  of  blubber  that  would  enable  us  to  make 
a  fire,  in  the  event  of  our  becoming  storm-bound. 

So  far,  the  going  had  been  fairly  good  ;  but,  on 
leaving  the  igloo,  we  entered  on  a  patch  of  rough  ice, 
which  seemed  of  such  extent  that  I  told  the  driver  to 

Return  from  Cape  York 


turn  to  the  westward  and  g-et  outside  of  it.  To  my 
great  satisfaction,  the  wind  had  now  moderated,  the 
stars  were  shining  brilhantly,  undimmed  by  haze  or 
flying  snow,  and  once  outside  of  the  rough  ice  I 
knew  we  would 
have  plain  sail- 
ing. In  a  short 
time  we  were 
through  it,  and 
then,  through 
the  darkness, 
steered  north- 
ward by  the  stars, 
without  mishaps 
or  delays,  other 
than  those  re- 
sulting from  my 
driver's  falling 
asleep,  drop- 
ping his  whip, 
and  then  beingf 
obliged  to  run 
back  and  hunt 
for  it,  till  the 
shadowy  needle 
of  Conical  Rock 
rose  out  of  the 
darkness  ahead. 
Then  the  base  of 
the  ereat  Cliffs 
of  Akpani  were 
traversed,  Parker  Snow  Bay  re-entered,  and  at  five 
A.M.  of  Thursday,  as  the  rapidly  waning  moon  was 
climbing  over  the  southern  bluffs,  and  lisfhtino"  the 
ice  and  northern  shore,  we  reached  the  village.  After 
our  journey   of   twenty-four  hours,   we  were   in   con- 


34^        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

dition  to  do  full  justice  to  an  ample  meal  of  boiled 
walrus  meat. 

My  sledge  had  lost  several  pieces  of  the  ivory- 
shoeing  on  the  upward  trip,  so  old  Tahweenyah  took 
it  into  the  entrance  of  his  igloo,  and,  with  the  assist- 
ance of  Accommodingwah,  began  repairing  it.  The 
stock  of  ivory  in  the  settlement  was  so  small,  how- 
ever, that  it  was  necessary  to  eke  it  out  with  walrus- 
skin,  and  this,  after  being  put  on,  must  have  time  to 
freeze  solid,  so  there  was  another  delay. 

I  had  rather  an  annoying  experience  here  of  the 
effect  of  a  heavy  snow  blanket  in  increasing  the 
warmth  of  an  igloo,  for  I  was  awakened  from  sound 
sleep  by  a  gallon  or  two  of  ice-water  dashing  in  my 
face.  This  water  had  collected  on  the  upper  side  of 
the  skin  lining  of  the  igloo,  until  at  last  it  found  an 
outlet,  which  was  unfortunately  directly  over  my 

The  going  was  good,  and  the  march  from  Parker 
Snow  Bay  to  Saunders  Island  was  made  comfortably 
in  about  twelve  hours. 

While  I  slept  uneasily  (owing  to  bugs  !)  at  the 
Saunders-Island  village,  Ahhu,  the  plump,  comforta- 
ble wife  of  burly  Ahngeenyah,  dried  my  rabbit-skin 
stockings,  mended  my  kamiks  and  kooletah,  and  made 
me  a  mitten  to  replace  the  one  lost  during  the  day. 
From  Ahngeenyah  himself,  I  obtained  a  big  feed  for 
my  dogs,  a  fine  long,  heavy  walrus  line,  a  coil  of  sin- 
nigshah,  and  a  large  piece  of  bearskin,  more  than 
enough  to  make  a  fine  pair  of  trousers  for  Lee. 

Visiting  here  was  the  oldest  man  in  the  tribe,  Ah- 
gotah  of  the  wooden  leg,  from  his  igloo  near  the  head 
of  the  Sound. 

At  5:30  A.M.  of  the  2 2d,  I  left  Akpani  for  the 

The   travelling   party  had    received   accessions    at 

Return  from  Cape  York 


Parker  Snow  Bay,  and  ag^ain  here,  and  one  or  two 
families  liad  been  added  at  intermediate  points,  so 
that,  as  we  groped  our  way  along  to  the  northern  end 
of  the  island,  throuoh  the  almost  tancrible  orloom  at 
the  base  of  the  bird  cliffs,  we  formed  a  caravan  of 
eighteen  persons,  eight  sledges,  and  fifty  dogs  ;  a 
microscopic  speck  of  life  and  warmth  and  animation. 


in  the  midst  of  a  world  of  ice  and  frozen  stillness. 
From  the  extremity  of  the  island  we  headed  north- 
ward through  the  darkness,  across  the  grey  waste  of 
Wolstenholm  Sound,  towards  the  invisible  "  Land  of 

Only  a  few  miles  from  the  island,  my,  as  it  proved, 
very  fallible  native  companions  led  the  way  into  a 
patch   of   the   roughest   ice,    where   two   or    three   of 

348        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

the  sledges  were  crippled,  and  the  caravan  was  obliged 
to  wait  while  they  were  repaired.  Then  it  came 
my  turn  in  the  loss  of  several  sections  of  my  ivory 
sledge  shoes.  This  happened  just  at  a  time  when  my 
sledge  was  a  little  behind  the  rest,  owing  to  the  loss 
of  one  of  the  strongest  dogs,  the  untamed  Panikpah, 
who  broke  his  trace  and  disappeared  in  the  darkness  ; 
and  in  a  few  moments  the  caravan  had  vanished  from 


sio-ht  and  hearino-.      It  was  a  lone  time  before  the 

o  o  o  _ 

work  of  repairing  was  completed,  and  then  the  faint 
noon  twilio-ht  enabled  me  to  make  some  selection  of 
a  route,  and  in  a  short  time  extricate  ourselves  from 
the  roupfh  ice.  For  some  time  we  followed  the  trail 
of  the  caravan,  and  then,  during  a  few  moments  of 
inattention  on  my  part,  my  driver  wandered  away 
from  it,  and  without  wasting  time  in  the  effort  to  re- 

Return  from  Cape  York  349' 

2"ain  it,  I  headed  north-westward  for  the  outer  edee 
of  the  rough  ice,  which,  from  the  experience  of  the 
down  trip,  I  knew  lay  all  along  the  coast  northward 
from  the  land  of  Noogli. 

Good  progress  was  made  over  the  hard  and  level 
surface,  the  almost  imperceptible  noon  twilight  en- 
abling us  to  avoid  bergs  and  areas  of  rough  ice. 
The  cliffs  of  Oobloodahingwah,  the  great  rock  Poo- 
eenyah,  and  then  the  low  land  of  Noogli  loomed  on 
our  rieht,  and  soon  we  reached  the  south-western 
angle  of  the  rough  ice,  bounded  to  the  west  by  young 
ice,  covered  by  efflorescence.  Here  we  recovered 
the  trail  of  the  caravan.  Knowing  that  this  young 
ice  extended  northward  about  parallel  with  the  coast, 
well  up  to  Cape  Parry,  I  wanted  to  go  out  on  it  and 
follow  along  its  edge,  thus  avoiding  all  the  rough 

My  young  driver,  however,  was  so  extremely  reluc- 
tant to  go  upon  it,  and  offered  so  many  objections, 
"that  it  was  unsafe,"  "that  the  efflorescence  would 
injure  the  dogs'  feet,"  etc,  that  I  followed  the  caravan 
trail  along  the  edge  of  the  old  ice,  going  upon  the 
young  ice  only  when  absolutely  necessary,  and  then 
leaving  it  again  at  the  earliest  moment. 

I  was  amused  at  the  persistence  with  which  the  na- 
tives had  stuck  to  the  more  difficult  travelling  on  the 
old  snow-covered  ice.  It  is  true  the  young  ice  when 
we  came  down  had  been  unsafe,  but  the  several  days 
of  cold  weather  since  then  had  strengthened  it  to  ab- 
solute safety,  yet  it  was  like  pulling  teeth  to  keep  dogs 
or  driver  on  it.  Thus  alternately  on  and  off  the 
young  ice,  we  made  our  way  northward  till  nearly  up 
to  Cape  Parry,  the  repairs  to  the  sledge  enduring  be- 
yond my  utmost  expectations.  Here,  just  as  we  were 
crossing  an  arm  of  the  young  ice,  a  sudden  roar  as  of 
distant  thunder  came  crashing  through  the  trembling 

35°        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

western  blackness.  My  driver  uttered  a  cry  of  fear, 
pushed  at  the  sledge  with  all  his  force,  urging  the 
dogs  with  whip  and  voice,  for  the  old  ice. 

We  had  scarcely  gained  a  few  yards  on  this,  when 

the  young  ice  be- 
hind us  rose  and 
fell,  broke  into 
cakes  from  be- 
tween which  the 
black  water 
spouted  in  hiss- 
ing sheets  ;  the 
heavy  ice  on 
which  we  stood 
heaved  and 
groaned,  cracks 
formed  reverber- 
atincr  throuo^h  it 
in  every  direc- 
tion ;  the  doo-s 
stopped,  whin- 
ing, regardless  of 
whip  or  voice ; 
a  biof  berof  close 
by  burst  the 
bonds  of  the 
surrounding  ice 
with  a  vicious 
erindine,  Sfrat- 
ing  sound,  and 
rocked  and 
groaned  till  it  seemed  about  to  topple  over  upon  us. 
Then  the  infernal  tumult  passed  on  through  the  dark- 
ness toward  the  savage  shore.  An  enormous  berg 
out  in  the  North  Water  had  disrupted.  When  the  ex- 
citement was  over  I   looked  at  my  watch.      It  lacked 


Return  from  Cape  York 


but  a  few  minutes  of  midnight  of  the  2 2d  of  Decem- 
ber, the  midnight  of  the  Arctic  night. 

The  sun  had  turned  back  in  his  course,  and  there, 
in  sight  of  mighty,  frowning  Kangahsuk,  I  had  been  a 
pigmy  witness  of  a  cataclysm,  which  may  perhaps  have 
been  the  responsive  thrill  of  this  Arctic  Cimmeria. 

After  the  commotion  had  subsided,  I  struck  a  bee 
line    for   the   black   shadow   of    Kangahsuk,    and   for 

hours   toiled   to-  

wards  the  orreat 
headland  over  a 
chaos  of  broken 
ice,  which  rapid- 
ly reduced  my 
sledge  to  a  state 
of  almost  com- 
plete wreckage. 

The  nearly  in- 
dark  mass  of  the 
does,  climbinof 
skyward  just  in 
front  of  the 
sledge,  would  be 
the  only  warninor  _,^^^,„ 

before  the  sledge 

came  to  a  dead  stop  against  a  ragged  block  of  blue 
ice ;  cries  from  the  dogs  as  they  disappeared  down- 
wards, the  instantaneous  prelude  to  a  headlong  plunge 
of  the  sledge,  only  to  stop  with  a  shock  and  crash, 
with  its  nose  wedged  under  a  rock  of  ice.  The  only 
warning  of  the  presence  of  icebergs  in  our  path  was 
the  sudden  blotting  out  of  the  stars.  Then  by  put- 
ting my  head  to  the  snow,  some  idea  of  the  berg's 
extent  could  be  obtained  from  the  size  of  the  starless 

352        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

When  almost  up  to  the  cape,  the  sledge  was  so 
badly  wrecked  as  to  necessitate  a  stop  for  repairs,  and 
my  driver  was  so  discouraged  by  this,  that  I  found  a 
resort  to  the  kitchen  box  necessary,  and  turned  him 
loose  upon  the  few  crumbs  of  biscuit  and  spoonfuls  of 
molasses  left  in  it,  which  perceptibly  improved  his 
feelings.  Soon  after  starting  again,  we  turned  the 
savage  black  angle  of  Kangahsuk,  and  from  here  to 
Netiulumi  had  a  comparatively  easy  time,  although 
the  completely  shattered  front  of  the  sledge  caused 
every  lump  of  ice  to  bring  us  up  standing. 

Several  times  between  Cape  Parry  and  Netiulumi,. 
Ihrllie  was  very  solicitous  about  my  battered  tin  cup 
which  hung  at  the  upstanders,  and  finally  intimated 
that  perhaps  I  was  well  enough  satisfied  with  his  serv- 
ices during  the  journey  to  give  it  to  him.  In  spite 
of  the  munificence  of  the  remuneration  I  readily  an- 
swered yes. 

It  was  6:30  A.M.  when  I  climbed  over  the  Netiu- 
lumi ice-foot,  having  been  twenty-five  hours  on  the 

The  caravan  had  arrived  long  before  us,  and  I 
found  that  Lee  had  stopped  just  long  enough  to  en- 
gage a  sledge  and  fresh  driver,  Ooblooyah,  and  had 
then  hastened  on  to  the  lodge.  I  soon  discovered 
the  reason  for  this.  I  had  expected  to  sleep  and  ob- 
tain a  meal  of  walrus  or  seal  here,  but  found  almost 
everyone  away,  and  the  only  food  in  the  place  very 
passe  narwhalmeat,  which  even  my  pretty  well  accli- 
mated stomach  objected  to.  My  own  provisions  had 
been  exhausted  at  Saunders  Island,  so  there  was 
nothing  to  do  but  to  keep  on.  Yet  my  sledge  was  a 
complete  wreck,  and  neither  my  dogs  nor  driver  were 
in  condition  to  proceed. 

At  this  juncture  big  Kyogwito,  the  Nalegaksoah, 
came   in   from  a  visit  to   his  fox-traps,  his  round  face: 

Return  from  Cape  York 


glowing,  in  its  halo  of  blue  foxtails,  like  a  molten 
bronze  sun.  He  offered  to  take  me  to  the  lodge. 
I  was  only  too  glad  to  accept,  and  after  a  delay  of 
scarcely  an  hour,  I  started  on  the  last  stage  of  the 
journey,  the  sixty-mile  ride  to  the  lodge,  where  I 
arrived  early  the  next  morning,  having  been  forty* 
six  hours  without  food  or  sleep. 


During  this  sledge  trip,  made  in  the  depth  of  the 
Arctic  night,  from  my  lodge  at  the  head  of  Bowdoin 
Bay,  to  Cape  York,  a  distance  of  about  two  hundred 
miles,  and  return,  we  slept  in  the  stone  huts  of  the 
natives,  or,  if  none  of  these  was  convenient,  in  snow 
houses  which  we  built  ourselves.  We  lived  upon  tea, 
biscuit,  and  walrus  meat,  and  yet  suffered  no  serious 
discomfort  from  extreme  cold,  or  other  causes,  except 

VOL.  II. — 23 

354       Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  " 

during  the  last  return  march,  when  I  travehed  for 
forty-six  hours  without  food  or  sleep  ;  and  we  were 
in  no  special  danger  except  for  the  few  moments 
when  the  big  berg  capsized  while  I  was  rounding 
Cape  Parry. 



Arctic  Details — Beginning  Winter  Routine — Occupations— Flash- 
light Studies— Visits  from  the  Natives— The  "Great  Night" — 
Auroras — A  New  Year's  Party — End  of  the  Old  Year  and  Beginning 
OF  the  New — "  Lassie  "  and  "  Lady." 


Summer.  Winter. 




HE  details  of  every- 
day life,  the  dull 
routine  of  getting 
up  and  going  to  bed,  of 
eating  and  drinking,  of 
small  talk,  of  ever-recur- 
rinof  and  never-finished 
work,  of  dressing,  sleep- 
ing, and  all  the  other 
nothings,  is  a  subject 
which,  when  the  scene  is 
laid  in  any  of  God's  coun- 
tries, demands  the  pen  of  a  master  to  make  attractive. 
But  when  the  scene  is  in  some  place  beyond  the 
pale,  and  especially  when  under  the  stress  of  the  polar 
night,  the  eager  curiosity  of  the  human  animal  as  to 
how  his  brother  human  animal  manages  to  achieve 
these  humdrum  yet  vital  matters,  gives  an  interest  to 
the  subject  which  enables  it  to  survive  prosaic 

I  remember,  when  my  years  were  less  than  now,  and 
everything  within  that  magic  circle  that  bounds  the 
northern  disc  of  midnight  suns  and  noonday  nights 
possessed  a  glamour,  I  read  with  deepest  interest 
every  trifle  with  regard  to  the  Arctic  winter  life  in  the 


35^       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

narratives  of  those  who  had  penetrated  the  mysterious 
region.  Now,  looking  back  through  several  years  of 
life  in  those  self-same  regions,  where  savage  black 
cliffs  and  treacherous  crevasse-riven  glaciers  take  the 
place  of  neighbours,  screaming  sea-birds  and  howling 
dogs  serve  as  friends,  and  man  and  his  highest  aspira- 
tions shrivel  into  utter  insignificance  among  the  huge 
shattered  bones  of  mother  earth's  primeval  skeleton, 
lying  ghastly  in  the  frozen  starlight,  a  description  of 


life's  daily  routine  seems  a  waste  of  ink.  Yet  there 
are  doubtless  many  others  who  feel  to-day  as  I  did  in 
those  earlier  years,  and  for  them  I  write. 

With  the  departure  of  the  sun  in  the  latter  part  of 
October  our  winter  routine  began.  This  routine  was 
simple,  and  our  thorough  knowledge  of  the  country, 
and  adoption  of  Eskimo  methods,  enabled  us  to  inter- 
rupt it  frequently  by  sledge  journeys  of  greater  or 
less  length,  so  that  it  did  not  become  seriously  wear- 

Winter  Routine 


ing  in  its  monotony.  The  alarm  rang  at  6:45  a.m., 
and  whoever  was  on  morning  duty  for  the  week  rose, 
built  the  fire,  and  prepared  the  simple  breakfast,  of 
hardtack,  or  corn-meal  mush,  and  coffee.  The  break- 
fast hour  was 
eight  A.M.  After 
breakfast,  the 
coal  and  water 
supply  for  the 
day  was  brought, 
the  meat  for  din- 
ner taken  in  so 
that  it  would 
have  a  chance 
to  thaw,  and  any 
outdoor  work  at- 
tended to. 

Up  to  the  first 
of  January  our 
water  supply 
was  brouofht  on 
sledges  from 
Baby  Lake,  up 
the  valley,  but  on 
that  date  a  well, 
dug  through  the 
ice  to  the  rock 
bottom  in  the 
deepest  part  of 
the  lake  (seven 
feet),  showed  the 
entire  contents  of  the  lake  to  have  been  transformed 
Into  flint-like  ice.  After  that  our  water  supply  was 
brought  in  the  form  of  ice,  and  a  laro-e  box  full  of  this 
was  kept  in  the  outer  room,  from  which  we  drew  to 
melt  into  water. 


360       Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  " 

Our  coal,  the  soft  steamer  grade,  contained  so  much 
dust  and  dirt  and  snow,  that  I  found  it  necessary  to 
screen  it  in  order  to  obtain  satisfactory  resuhs  in 
our  tiny  stove.  These  things,  and  in  the  first  of  the 
winter  the  bankine-in  of  the  house  and  construction 
of  the  snow  entrances,  gave  us  occupation  for  the 
hours  immediately  following  breakfast.  Lunch  of 
griddle  cakes,  of  venison  stew,  or  beans  and  brown 
bread,  tea,  and  biscuit  was  eaten  at  twelve,  and  then 
work  commenced  on  our  equipment. 


It  is  surprising  how  much  work  there  is  in  the 
equipment  of  even  a  party  of  three,  when  everything 
must  be  made  from  the  raw  material. 

First,  there  were  the  sledges,  five  in  number,  then 
the  tent,  the  cooking  apparatus,  the  odometer  (for 
measuring  the  distance  travelled  during  the  sledge 
journey),  the  dog-harnesses,  traces,  boots,  whips,  etc., 
the  clothing,  the  packing  of  the  rations,  fitting  of 
snow-shoes  and  ski,  and  the  thousand  trifling,  yet 
vital,  details. 

The  plans  for  the  sledges,  the  construction  of  the 
tent  and  cooker,  and  the  designs  for  the  clothing  fell 

Winter  Routine  361 

to  my  lot.  Lee  built  one  of  the  sledges,  constructed 
the  odometer  wheel,  and  packed  the  rations.  Henson 
built  three  of  the  sledges,  made  the  whips,  and  super- 
intended the  manufacture  of  the  harnesses,  traces, 
etc.,  by  the  natives.  Each  one  looked  after  the 
sewing  of  his  own  costume,  the  work  being  done  by 
the  willing,  faithful  Eskimo  women.  With  these 
various  occupations,  the  time  from  lunch  till  dinner 
was  taken  up. 

At  five  P.M.  we  sat  down  to  our  principal  meal, 
the  menu  of  which  varied  from  day  to  day,  though 
the  chief  dish  was  usually  reindeer  steak.  After 
dinner,  interest  in  our  equipment  frequently  led  us  to 
continue  work  on  it  through  the  evening,  or  if  not, 
there  were  books  to  read,  notes  to  write,  plans  and 
details  of  further  work  to  be  perfected,  and  when,  as 
frequently  happened,  a  considerable  number  of  natives 
was  visiting  us,  there  was  always  information  to  be 
obtained  from  them,  and  more  or  less  amusement  in 
taking  their  pictures. 

I  continued  work  on  the  ethnological  photographic 
record  of  the  tribe  as  in  the  previous  winters,  but  now 
that  new  subjects  were  comparatively  scarce,  it  gave 
me  an  opportunity  for  an  auxiliary  series  of  pictures 
showing  action,  special  positions,  characteristics,  etc. 

Some  of  these  photos  scattered  through  this  chap- 
ter, will  give  an  idea  of  the  work.  Many  others,  while 
not  adapted  for  a  narrative  of  the  nature  of  this,  are 
of  much  interest  to  the  artist  and  ethnologist,  and 
contain  many  surprises. 

Usually  about  ten  p.m.  a  cup  of  tea  and  a  biscuit 
were  in  order,  and  by  eleven  or  twelve  o'clock  lights 
were  out,  fires  expiring,  and  quiet  reigned  in  the  lodge. 

Besides  the  sledge  trips  which  we  took  during  each 
of  the  winter  moons,  we  had  the  nearly  constant  visits 
of  the   Eskimos,  and  the  two  together  destroyed  al- 

362        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

most  completely  the  wearying  monotony  of  the  long 
night.  The  large  east  room  was  assigned  to  our  vis- 
itors, a  fire  being  built  in  it  for  their  comfort.  The 
attractions  of  this  palatial  guest-chamber,  combined 
with  the  presence  of  an  abundant  food  supply  at  Kar- 

nah,  about  twenty  miles 
from  the  lodge,  resulted 
in  that  place  being,  dur- 
ing the  winter,  the  me- 
tropolis of  the  country, 
about  one-fourth  of  the 
entire  tribe  residing 

Some  of  these  peo- 
ple were  running  back 
and  forth  all  the  time. 
Sometimes  it  would  be 
a  couple  of  young  sports 
out  partly  to  exercise 
their  dogs,  largely  to  get 
a  drink  of  much-prized 
coffee  and  a  biscuit  ; 
sometimes  a  hunter 
bringing  something  to 
trade ;  sometimes  a  fam- 
ily anxious  to  have  a 
taste  of  biscuit  and  cof- 
fee and  get  a  lump  of 
sugar ;  and  sometimes, 
as  was  the  case  at  Christmas,  an  entire  picnic  party 
of  several  families,  children  and  all,  would  descend 
upon  us  and  completely  fill  the  big  room. 

I  can  see  such  a  party  now — the  large  room,  but 
partially  lit  by  the  yellow  flame  of  an  Eskimo  lamp 
and  the  glow  of  the  soft-coal  fire  ;  the  red-brown  faces, 
with   black    eyes   and   dazzling   teeth,   gleaming    like 


Winter  Routine 


living  bronzes.  Here  a  woman  nursing  her  baby, 
there  another  mending  a  kamik,  perhaps  a  third  tend- 
ing the  lamp,  and  another  washing  towels  and  stock- 
ings for  us.  Perched  on  the  edee  of  a  bunk,  their 
feet  swinging  over  the  edge,  two  girls,  guying,  in 
audible  asides,  a  third  who, 
stretched  on  the  cover  of  the 
biscuit  cask,  took  their  per- 
sonal remarks  with  smiling 
good-humour.  Near  the  lamp 
a  man  fashioning  ivory  toggles 
for  dog-harnesses  from  a  wal- 
rus tusk  ;  mixed  up  about  his 
feet  two  boys  pulling  fingers  to 
see  who  was  the  stronger  ;  and 
in  the  warmest  corner  near  the 
stove  two  old  men  gossiping 
volubly,  cracking  jokes  at  each 
other's  expense,  and  empha- 
sising specially  good  hits  by 
friendly  pokes  in  the  ribs. 

The  "  Great  Nio-ht,"  as  well 
as  the  vagaries  of  the  sun,  is 
one  of  the  common  phenomena 
of  the  Arctic  regions  in  regard 
to  which  there  exist  variant 
and  erroneous  ideas. 

Though  the  long  night  be- 
gins technically  on  the  day 
when  the  sun  sinks  for  the  last 
time  below  the  horizon,  yet  he 
is  still  so  little  below  the  south- 
ern horizon  at  noon  of  each  day  for  some  time  longer, 
that  there  are  several  hours  of  twilight,  practically 
equivalent  to  daylight,  in  the  middle  of  the  day.  But 
this   twilight  rapidly  pales  and   fades,   and  then    the 


364        Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  " 

gloomy  night  for  weeks  holds  full  sway  throughout 
every  hour  of  the  twenty-four,  unbroken  except  by 
the  brihiant  moons,  of  which  there  are  three,  in  every 
Arctic  winter  night,  and  the  Aurora. 

And  what  is  this  months-long  "  Great  Night  "  like  ? 
Words  cannot  describe  it,  and  no  one  who  has  not 
himself  felt  its  savage  pressure  and  Luciferian  beauty 
can  correctly  imagine  it. 

The  Arctic  world,  stern  and  savage  and  desolate 
enough  even  in  the  dazzling  summer  sunlight,  changes 
in  the  Cimmerian  grasp  of  the  "  Great  Night"  to  an 


inferno  of  universal  death,  eternal  silence,  deadly 
cold,  and  crushing  darkness  beyond  all  conception  of 
the  liveliest  imagination. 

True  there  is  a  devilish  beauty  in  this  night  when 
storm-free,  and  the  blue-black  sky,  set  with  indescrib- 
able brilliants,  arches  above  the  black  cliffs  and  the 
ghastly  surface  of  the  fettered  sea  ;  and  when  the 
white  moon  lights  the  same,  its  splendour  is  unearthly  ; 
even  as  it  is  when  the  devil  dancers  of  the  Aurora 
people  sky  and  frozen  sea  with  spectral-flitting 

Winter  Routine 


long"   winter 

But  when  day  after  day  and  week  after  week  pass 
without  a  benign  ray  from  the  great  alchemist  and 
mist  dissipator,  the  sun,  then  the  animal  feels  the 
effect  and  the  machinery  begins  to  jar. 

Nine  out  of  every  ten  people  the  first  time  they 
meet  me  ask,  '*  How  did  you 
stand  the  cold  ? "  As  a  matter 
of  fact,  the  cold  of  the  Arctic 
regions  to  a  well  man,  properly 
fed  and  properly  clothed,  is  no 
more  serious  than  is  the  cold 
of  our  own  winters  to  us  here. 
But  the  darkness,  the  months- 
ght !  That  is 
Just  so  long  as  man 
remains  an  animal,  just  so  long 
can  he  never  entirely  avoid  the 
effects  of  the  long-continued 
pfloom.  We  all  know  that  a 
plant  will  grow  in  darkness, 
but  it  does  not  grow  properly, 
and  is  weak  and  colourless. 

So,  too,  man  will  live  through 
the  Arctic  night,  but  he  does 
not  live  properly.  No  temper- 
ament can  avoid  its  effects  en- 
tirely. The  man  of  sanguine 
temperament,  full  of  plans  for 
the  future,  gifted  with  self- 
contained  resources,  feels  it 
least,  while,  on  the  other  hand, 
there  are  nervous  tempera- 
ments upon  which  the  stress  of  the  Arctic  night  would 
bring  complete  and  literal  insanity. 

Try  and  imagine,  if  you  can,  what  it  would  be  like 
if,  here  at  home,  the  sun  set  every  year  on  the  26th 


366        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice 

of  October,  not  to  rise  again  until  the  14th  of  Febru- 
ary !  !  Yet  it  is  not  the  fact  of  absolute  darkness,  not 
that  it  is  impossible  to  see  anything  during  all  this 
long  night,  that  gives  it  its  awful  power.  By  no 
means.       During  each  of  the  three  winter  moons,  the 

Arctic  landscape  is  flooded 
with  the  most  brilliant  light, 
and  at  other  times,  the  dark- 
ness is  somewhat  less  than  that 
of  our  starlit  winter  nights  at 
home,  owing  to  the  nearly  un- 
broken snow  expanse  which 
reflects  instead  of  absorbinof 
the  starlight.  Only  during  the 
fierce  winter  storms  is  the  dark- 
ness of  the  Arctic  night  a  tang- 
ible, oppressive,  ponderable 
substance.  No,  it  is  not  the 
inability  to  see,  it  is  the  absence 
of  the  chemical,  the  actinic, 
the  physiological  effects  of  the 
magic  rays  of  the  great  source 
of  light. 

In  reo^ard  to  the  Aurora  of 
high  northern  latitudes,  the 
popular  idea  is  almost  as  erron- 
eous as  in  reo'ard  to  the  niofht. 
In  the  Whale-Sound  reo;"ion,  a 
dazzling  auroral  display  is  of 
extreme  rarity.  Usually  the 
display  takes  the  form  of  cur- 
tains and  streamers  of  mod- 
erate intensity,  and  as  frequently  in  the  south  as 
elsewhere.  But  when  one  of  the  rare  brilliant  Au- 
roras does  occur  in  the  heart  of  the  "  Great  Night," 
the  effect  is  infinitely  grand  and  inspiring. 


Winter  Routine 


For  days,  or  even  weeks,  the  great  northern  con- 
stellations, Cassiopeia,  Orion,  the  Great  Bear,  Gemini, 
and  those  sparkling  brilliants,  Arcturus,  Aldebaran, 
Wega,  and  the  rest,  have  glittered  undimmed  by  rival 
light,  when  suddenly  the  ebon  dome  of  the  "  Great 
Night  "  is  rent  and  slashed  by  flashing  blades  of  light 
which  dart  like  rapiers  athwart 
the  blue-black  sky,  then  rush 
together  to  form  a  blazing 
arch,  spanning  the  heavens, 
and  bristling  with  points  which 
leap  and  flash  like  the  uplifted 
sabres  of  charging  cavalry. 
Then  arch  and  sabres  melt 
into  a  faint  luminous  cloud, 
which  breaks  into  a  hundred 
tenuous  fluttering  banners. 
Then,  as  the  celestial  elec- 
trician turns  the  current  on 
full  force,  with  an  instant, 
simultaneous  movement,  the 
banners  leap  and  merge  into 
a  rayant  waving  curtain,  the 
folds  of  which  sway  to  and  fro 
far  out  across  the  desolate, 
rigid  sea. 

As  the  ghostly  undulations 
sweep  along  the  curtain's  edge, 
pale  flashes  of  red  and  green 
spring  out,  and,  standing  in  the 
utter  silence  of  the  frozen  night,  one  almost  fancies 
that  he  hears  the  waving  of  the  mighty  folds  shaping 
itself  to  sound. 

Then  instant  as  it  came,  it  vanishes,  and  the  stars, 
the  ebon  dome,  and  the  uplifted  desolation  of  the 
"Great  Ice"  hold  full  sway  again. 


368       Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  " 

The  last  day  of  the  year  was  one  of  inky  darkness, 
sable  clouds  blotting  out  all  starlight. 


In  view  of  a  prospective  storm,  I  had  Lee  and  Nook- 
tah  commence  the  construction  of  a  covered  passage 
between  the  two  houses,  with  snow-blocks  which  Nook- 

Winter  Routine 


tah  and  Koko  have  been  cutting.  I  myself  undertook 
the  job  of  getting  the  coal  pile,  which  the  Eskimos,  in 
bringing  coal  for  the  house,  have  scattered  over  con- 
siderable ground,  into  more  compact  shape. 

While  at  work  on  this  I  heard  voices  down  the  bay, 
and  in  a  short 
time  a  whole  con- 
tingent of  Eski- 
mos arrived. 
Oomah,  wife  and 
two  children  ; 
Kio,  wife  and 
two  children; 
Elingwah,  wife 
and  child;  Sipsu, 
Akp  alisoaho, 
and  two  boys. 
The  men,  after 
they  had  fas- 
tened their  do^s, 
went  to  work 
immediately  as- 
sisting Lee  and 
Nooktah,  and  in 
a  short  time  the 
entrance  to  the 
house  w^as  com- 
pletely protected 
from  the  wind. 
These  natives  brought  blubber  with  them,  and  I  orave 
them  an  iron  pot  and  molasses,  and  during  the  even- 
ing they  have  been  making  and  drinking  coffee  to  their 
hearts'  content.  They  have  helped  out  what  would,  I 
fear,  have  been  otherwise  a  sad  day  for  at  least  one 
of  the  party. 

The  year  just  coming  to  a  close  has  been  the  dark- 


Z7^       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

est  one  in  my  life  ;  it  has  brought  me  more  care,  more 
worry,  more  disappointment,  more  heartache,  than  all 
the  others  put  together.  It  has  through  me  brought  to 
those  near  and  dear  to  me  much  sorrow,  I  trust  I  may 
see  no  more  like  it.  And  yet,  what  is  the  outlook  for 
the  coming  year  ?  Matt  is  sick,  Lee  is  in  no  condition 
either  physical  or  mental,  and  I  have,  I  fear,  lost  my  for- 
mer elan  and  sanguineness.  These  feelings  viay  be  only 
the  effect  of  this  hellish  Arctic  night.     I  hope  they  are. 

Just  before  midnight  I  got  out  my  remaining  stock 
of  fireworks,  a  few  Roman  candles  and  pin-wheels, 
and  set  them  off  for  the  amusement  of  my  Eskimo 
friends,  the  display  closing  just  after  midnight. 
Their  ahnmnians  were  loud  and  numerous  when  I 
held  the  blazing  wheels  in  my  hand,  and  let  them 
flash  their  coruscatincr  lives  out  there. 

The  wind  blew  strongly  as  the  old  year  passed  away. 
New  Year's  Day  was  clear  with  the  exception  of  a  bank 
of  clouds  in  the  south. 

I  dreamed  last  nieht  of  home  and  mother.  Is  it  a 
favourable  omen  for  the  coming  year  ?  I  shall  take  it 
as  such. 

Among  the  dogs  that  arrived  last  night  were  Baby's 
two,  "  Lassie"  and  "  Lady,"  who  in  the  brilliant  days 
six  months  ago,  hauled  her  about  the  place  on  her 
little  sledge.  I  have  given  them  to-day  a  good  feed 
for  the  dear  child's  sake. 

The  wind  last  night  was  accompanied  by  a  rise  in 
the  temperature  to  14°  F. 

The  crowd  of  native  visitors  had  intended  to  leave  to- 
day, but  the  south-easterly  wind  has  detained  them,  and 
they  will  not  go  till  to-morrow.  They  have  solaced 
themselves  with  constant  coffee-makinof.  The  New 
Year's  dinner  menu  was  beans  and  brown  bread,  peas, 
kippered  herring,  pears,  and  tea.  Matt  is  feeling  better 
to-night,  and  Lee  is  more  like  himself. 



Seventy  Miles  for  a  Deer — Bear  Tracks — The  Loneliest  Light  the 
World  can  Show — Egyptian  Karnak  and  Greenland  Karnah — Eskimo 
Children  at  Play — A\  Eskimo  Legend — An  Ogre — The  Winter  North 
Water — An  Exciting  Ride — Savage  Scenery— A  Bflle  (?) — Feasting, 
Astronomy,  and  Gossip — Death  of  Lion. 




ESIDE  the  long 
sledge  journey  to 
Cape  York  in  the 
midnight  of  the  winter 
niofht,  numerous  shorter 
journeys  were  made  from 
time  to  time  duringf  the  au- 
tumn  and  winter  months. 
A  description  of  two  of 
these  will  g-ive  a  Qreneral 
idea  of  all. 

At  7:30  A.M.,  November 
14th,  with  Matt,  Panikpah,  sledge,  and  nine  dogs,  I 
left  the  lodgfe  for  Kangerdlooksoah  to  brinor  home  a 
deer  killed  and  cached  by  Panikpah.  The  tempera- 
ture was  -1 1°  F.,  and  the  gritty  snow  covering  the 
ice  made  the  sledge  pull  heavily.  Still  we  covered 
the  five  miles  to  the  East  Glacier  in  an  hour.  An 
hour  later,  we  were  rattling  along  under  the  shadow 
of  the  Castle  Cliffs.  The  twilight  of  dawn  was  just 
appearing  in  the  east,  vying  with  the  brilliant  moon- 
light, and  the  numerous  grim  stone  faces  of  the  cliffs 
stood  in  sharp  silhouette  against  the  silver  sky,  chang- 
ing their  expression  as  we  passed. 

The  going  across  the  Sound  was  fairly  good,  inter- 


374        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

rupted  only  occasional- 
ly by  patches  of  rough 
ice,  and  we  covered  the 
thirty-five  miles  to  Kan- 
gerdlooksoah  in  six 
hours.  Fastening  the 
doo^s  to  the  ice-foot,  and 
taking  a  hasty  lunch  of 
biscuit,  corned  beef,  and 
pork,  we  clambered  to 
the  shore,  and  com- 
menced the  climb  up  the 
rough,  rapidly  rising, 
boulder-littered  hills 
which  lie  back  of  Kan- 
eerdlooksoah.  The 
moonliaht  and  the  noon 
twilight  together  gave 
us  ample  light,  so  that 
even  a  raven's  track 
could  be  seen  some 
yards  distant.  Hare, 
fox,  and  deer  tracks 
were  numerous,  and 
about  a  mile  from  the 
shore,  a  broad  track, 
like  the  trail  of  a  man 
on  snow-shoes,  was  seen 
winding  down  the  slope 
ahead  of  us.  I  was  at  a 
loss  to  account  for  this, 
until  we  reached  it  and 
found  the  huge  planti- 
grade footprints  of  a 
polar  bear  or  iiannook. 
The  width  of  the  actual 

Sledge  Trips  of  the  Long  Night        375 

tracks  was  just  the  length  of  my  kamik,  and  their  length 
twice  as  much,  i.e.,  1 1x22  inches,  while  the  dragging  of 
the  toes  and  the  hair  of  the  heel  through  the  snow  made 
the  trail  fully  as  large  as  that  by  a  pair  of  snow-shoes. 
The  tracks  had  been  made  the  day  before,  but  what 
the  brute  could  have  been  after  in  that  locality,  so  far 
away  from  the  open  water,  I  could  not  imagine,  unless 
— and  a  sudden  fear  came  to  me — it  might  be  the 
cached  deer,  and  I  quickened  my  steps. 

A  little  farther  on,  we  came  upon  the  track  of  the 
puny  Lord  of  Creation,  man  ;  and  just  beyond  this,  the 
little  pile  of  stones  (much  to  my  relief,  undisturbed) 
and  a  patch  of  blood-stained  and  trampled  snow, 
marking  the  place  where  the  deer  had  met  his  fate. 
Detaching  a  small  stone  with  his  heel,  Panikpah  used 
it  as  a  hammer  with  which  to  loosen  others,  and  soon 
the  soft  grey  pelt  and  bright-red  meat  were  exposed  to 
view.  Distributing  these  between  us,  we  turned  our 
faces  towards  the  shore. 

The  scene  before  us  was  a  brilliant  one :  the  snow 
lay  dazzling  white  in  the  rays  of  the  full  moon,  broken 
here  and  there  by  the  jet-black  rocks  projecting 
through  it  ;  almost  at  our  feet  lay  the  little  black  speck 
of  Ptarmigan  Island,  and  beyond  it  the  marble  sea  of 
Inglefield  Gulf,  reaching  to  the  glaciers  and  black 
nunataks  of  the  north  shore.  Above  these,  the  roll- 
ingr  swells  of  the  "  Great  Ice"  threw  back  the  moon- 
light  like  burnished  silver ;  the  loneliest,  weirdest, 
most  desolate  light  the  world  can  show. 

At  eleven  p.m.,  we  were  at  the  lodge,  having  made 
the  round  trip  of  seventy  miles  in  thirteen  travelling 

At  noon  of  January  7th,  I  left  the  lodge  on  my  iron- 
shod  sledge  drawn  by  eight  dogs,  upon  a  trip  round 
Whale  Sound,  the  object  of  which  was  to  determine 
astronomically  the  positions  of  certain  salient  points. 

Z1^       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

as  Kanga,  the  point  at  the  mouth  of  Ohiks  Bay  ;  Kan- 
gahsuk,  or  Cape  Parry,  the  southern  portal  of  Whale 
Sound ;  AkpasunI,  the  western  extremity  of  Hak- 
luyt  Island  ;  Kiaktoksuami,  the  eastern  end  of  Her- 
bert   Island,  and    perhaps    also    the    eastern    end    of 

Island.  Just  be- 
fore we  started, 
Ootoonlah  ar- 
rived with  news 
of  having  killed 
a  bear  out  near 

The  moon  was 
shining  brightly, 
but  the  going  on 
the  bay  was  hard, 
and  the  iron- 
runner  sledge 
pulled  so  heavily 
that  Matt  and  I 
walked  the  first 
eight  miles,  turn- 
ing the  sledge 
over  to  the  two 
girls,  Alakahsing- 
wah  and  Elating- 
wah,  who  had 
seized  this  oppor- 
tunity to  get  a 
ride  home.  Out 
in  the  Sound  the 
ice  was  free  of  snow  and  we  all  rode,  dashing  rapidly 
along  under  the  towering  Sculptured  Cliffs,  whose  co- 
lossal statues,  holding  silent  communion  with  each  other 
across  the  intervening  chasms  and  amphitheatres,  re- 


Sledge  Trips  of  the  Long  Night 


minded  me  of  Turgenieff's  dialogue  between  the 
Yungfrau  and  Finsteraarhorn,  and  afforded  endless 
amusement  to  the  girls,  as  they  named  one  after  another 
of  the  great  stone  faces  after  members  of  their  tribe. 

Strange  antithesis  of  names — Egyptian  Karnak  and 
its  statues,  bur- 
ied in  eternal 
tropic  sands; 
Greenland  Kar- 
nah  and  its  stat- 
ues, towering 
above  eternal 
snows.  One 
carved  by  man 
and  buried  by 
great  Nature; 
the  other  carved 
by  Nature  her- 
self, never  to  be 
buried  or  hidden 
until  the  last  day. 

A  squad  of  the 
Karnah  children 
met  us  some  dis- 
tance beyond  the 
ice-foot,and  their 
shout  of  recog- 
nition brought 
the  entire  popu- 
lationout  of  their 
houses.  All 
along  the  ice-foot  in  front  of  the  village,  seals 
were  stacked  in  great  piles,  like  bags  of  grain,  for 
the  harvest  this  year  has  been  very  bountiful.  The 
double  light,   shining  through   sealskin   window   and 


Z7'^       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

open  tossiit  (entrance)  of  each  of  the  ten  igloos, 
gave  ample  ground  for  applying  the  term  "Arctic 
Metropolis "  to  the  settlement.  Everywhere  about 
the  place  dressed  sealskins  were  hanging  out  to  dry, 
and  the  women  were  all  at  work  on  others,  a  striking 
contrast  to  the  dearth  of  last  season. 

On  my  way  to  Kardah's  igloo,  I  stopped  to  watch 
the  children  at  play  on  the  level  ground  back  of  the 
igloos.  Standing  there  in  the  grey  darkness  of  the 
early  afternoon,  I  had  difficulty  in  realising  my 
position.  In  every  direction  glowed  the  yellow 
lights  from  the  iMoo  windows  and  toss2tts  ;  and  the 
merry  cries  of  a  score  of  children  playing  tag,  snap 
the  whip,  etc.,  and  their  shouts  of  ''Tessa''  (stop), 
""  Karr''  (come  on),  ''  AksJiid'"  (pull),  ''  Toioi'' 
(hurry),  "■  Ahtitdo''  (again),  filled  the  air.  In  spite 
of  the  strange  little  furry  figures,  the  boys  bare- 
headed and  unkempt,  the  girls  with  little  pointed 
sealskin  hoods,  their  voices  were  the  same  children 
voices  that  sound  the  world  over.  Yet  here  I  was 
among  a  race  of  savages,  under  the  shadow  of  barren, 
eternally  frozen  cliffs,  the  temperature  far  below  zero, 
and  the  gloom  of  the  "  Great  Night  "  enveloping  me. 
When  I  entered  the  igloo,  I  found  an  entirely  nude 
boy  of  some  five  years,  standing  upon  the  bed  plat- 
form, playing  the  kiloon,  the  solitary  musical  instru- 
ment of  these  people. 

Early  the  next  morning,  I  galloped  away  from 
Karnah,  bound  for  Kanga,  at  the  entrance  to  Olriks 
Bay.  The  ice  was  smooth  and  almost  snow-free,  and 
we  reached  the  point  in  good  time.  All  the  way 
from  the  lodge  to  Karnah,  and  while  crossing  the 
Sound  from  Karnah  to  Kanga,  the  sky  had  been 
cloudless,  but  as  we  reached  the  ice-foot  at  the  latter 
place,  a  silvery  veil  began  forming  over  the  sky,  ob- 
scuring the  stars,  and  just  the  faintest  breath  of  air 

380       Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  " 

issued  from  the  bay.  There  was  no  snow  at  Kanga 
from  which  an  igloo  could  be  built,  so  I  drove  across 
the  mouth  of  the  bay  to  Ittibloo,  seven  miles  distant, 
to  sleep  and  return  in  the  morning.  There  were 
three  igloos  here,  and  I  went  at  once  to  that  of  my 
friend,  Ootooniah.  After  I  had  finished  my  dinner 
(fortunately),  Ootooniah  brought  in  half  a  seal, 
which,  judging  from  the  perfume,  had  been  buried 
several  summers,  and  with  the  assistance  of  a  hatchet 


dispensed  the  hospitality  of  his  mansion  to  some 
native  guests  who  had  just  arrived  from  the  west- 
ward, in  the  shape  of  great  chunks  of  the  frozen, 
putrid  meat.  Words  fail  me.  The  proverb  here  is 
not  "kill  the  fatted  calf,"  but  "  bring  in  the  fetid 
seal."  In  the  walls  of  this  igloo,  as  in  nearly  all  the 
old  ones  of  this  region,  I  observed  bones  of  the  whale, 
now  extinct  in  these  waters. 

It  was  past  midnight  when  I  turned  in  after  setting 
my  little  alarm  clock  for  six  a.m.      Before  that  time  I 

Sledge  Trips  of  the  Long  Night        381, 

wakened  to  hear,  even  in  the  cavern  of  the  igloo,  the 
wind  roaring  overhead.  Stepping  outside,  I  found 
the  stars  completely  blotted  out,  and  the  wind  howling 
down  from  the  crest  of  Kirsirviahsuk  as  the  wind 
can  howl  only  at  Ittibloo,  hurling  the  snow  along  in 
blinding  clouds.  Observations  were  out  of  the  ques- 
tion, so  after  a  generous  meal  of  salt  beef,  mush,  and 
coffee,  we  started  for  Kangahsuk  (Cape  Parry)  via 
Netiulumi,  in  a  gloom  through  which  the  trail  was 
recognisable  only  to  the  keen  instincts  of  my  dogs. 

I  did  not  go  up  to  the  igloos  at  Netiulumi,  but 
had  the  fire  for  our  mush  and  coffee  built  under  the 
overhanging  rocks  of  the  shore,  just  above  the  ice- 
foot. While  these  were  preparing,  I  arranged  with 
Kyoguito,  the  Nalegaksoah,  to  take  me  on  his  big 
sledge  with  his  powerful  team  of  dogs  to  Cape 
Parry,  while  Nooktah,  my  driver,  and  my  dogs  rested 
at  Netiulumi.  The  consideration  for  this  service 
was  a  dish  of  mush  and  a  cup  of  coffee.  As  soon  as 
our  meal  was  finished  I  started  westward,  determined 
to  see  for  myself  the  open  water  reported  by  the  na- 
tives here,  and  the  existence  of  which  was  unques-^ 
tionable,  as  evidenced  by  the  bank  of  dense,  inky 
water-clouds  visible  from  the  village  through  the 
faintly  filtering  moonlight.  We  came  upon  it  sooner 
than  I  had  expected,  its  edge  located  eastward  of  the 
little  bay  half-way  between  Netiulumi  and  Cape 
Parry,  and  curving  away  northward  towards  North- 
umberland Island,  Standing  upon  the  frozen  shore 
of  this  Stygian  sea,  I  could  hear  the  occasional  long- 
drawn  puff  of  a  kahlillozvah  (narwhal),  like  the  sigh 
of  some  weary  spirit. 

Reluctantly  I  turned  back,  and  with  the  Nalegak- 
soah's  cracking  whip  urging  his  dogs  to  their  best 
pace,  we  were  soon  back  to  Netiulumi,  and  I  went 
at   once    to    Tellikotinah's  igloo,    the  inner  compart- 

382        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

ment  of  a  large,  well-warmed,  and  lighted  double 
igloo,  the  other  half  of  which  was  occupied  by  Myah 
and  Myouksoah,  with  their  families.  Kessuh  and 
Koodlah  with  their  wives  were  here  from  Koinisu- 
ni  visiting,  but  they  were  hustled  off  to  other  igloos 
for  the  night,  leaving  me  in  possession  of  an  undi- 
vided half  of  the  igloo,  the  other  half  being  occupied 
by   Tellikotinah,  his   wife,  and  daughter.      Both    My- 


ouksoah  and  Tellikotinah  had  killed  a  seal  during 
the  day,  and  while  I  was  obtaining  from  the  latter  a 
map  and  list  of  all  the  settlements  and  igloos  from 
Humboldt  Glacier  to  Melville  Bay,  Myouksoah  was 
cutting  up  his  seal  in  the  adjoining  igloo.  When  the 
catechism  was  ended,  I  gave  Tellikotinah  a  mouth- 
ful of  whiskey,  and  then  called  Myouksoah  for  the 
same  dose.  Fresh  from  the  dissection  of  the  seal, 
hands,  arms,  body,  face,  and  neck  covered  with  blood, 

Sledge  Trips  of  the  Long  Night         3^3 

he  looked,  as  he  came  forward  and  put  out  his  great 
mouth  for  me  to  pour  the  whiskey  into,  like  some 
horrible  oo^re. 

My  star  sights  finished  here,  I  started  for  Keate, 
the  settlement  on  the  south  side  of  Northumberland 
Island.  The  open  water  precluded  any  possibility  of 
getting  to  Hakluyt  Island  or  even  to  the  western  end 
of  Northumberland. 


It  was  nearly  midnight  when  I  left  Netiulumi  in  a 
flood  of  brilliant  moonlight.  The  water-clouds,  mount- 
ains  of  burnished  lead,  hung  on  our  left  and  almost 
ahead  of  us,  hiding  the  western  end  of  Northumber- 
land completely.  At  first,  I  headed  direct  for  Keate, 
but  soon  saw  a  black  bight  of  the  open  water  extend- 
ing up  the  Sound  well  across  our  course.  Reaching 
it,  I  found  it  bordered  by  a  ribbon  of  glassy  ice,  sev- 
eral yards  in  width,  formed  by  the  flying  spray  of  the 
waves  in  the  last  eale.  On  this  the  sledge  moved 
without  resistance,  and,  as  is  their  custom,  my  dogs 

Sledge  Trips  of  the  Long  Night        385 

broke  into  a  wild  gallop.  Close  to  the  sledge  on  the 
left  dashed  and  murmured  the  inky  waves  of  this  mid- 
winter North  Water,  and  my  dogs,  with  their  invaria- 
ble and  unaccountable  perversity,  acted  as  if  nothing 
on  earth  would  satisfy  them  except  to  dash  into  it. 
The  slewing  of  the  sledge  caused  by  their  rapid  move- 
ments more  than  once  brouofht  the  heel  of  the  runner 
over  this  water,  and  once,  when  there  was  a  particu- 
larly sharp  turn,  only  the  quick  and  concerted  action 
of  my  driver  and  myself  prevented  the  sledge,  and 
ourselves  with  it,  from  oroino-  in.  This  incident,  to- 
gether  with  some  perti- 
nent remarks  from  me, 
waked  my  driver  up,  and 
after  this  he  kept  at  a  safe 
distance  from  the  dangfer 
line.  When  we  reached 
the  ice-foot  about  a  mile 
east  from  Keate,  the  ebb 
of  the  spring  tides  had 
left  it  a  formidable  verti- 
cal wall  of  ice,  with  a  canal 
of  black  water  at  its  foot. 
Some  time  was  consumed  „.r^^„^^ 

^  .  ^  KIOSHOO. 

m    nuntmg  tor    a     place 

where  the  ice-foot  was  scalable,  but  once  on  top  of  it 
we  had  a  fairly  good  road  all  the  way  to  the  foot  of  the 
slope  which  reaches  down  from  the  igloos.  With  a 
chorus  of  savage  yelps  and  howls,  my  team  dashed 
straight  up  this  slope,  halting  only  at  the  entrance  to 
the  igloo.  Looking  back  from  here  toward  the  open 
water,  I  beheld  a  scene  of  the  most  savage  grandeur. 

Behind,  on  either  side,  lay  the  snow-vv^hite  land ; 
below,  the  white  surface  of  the  upper  Sound  ;  the 
southern  cliffs  seemed  only  a  few  miles  distant,  they 
were   so  sharp  and  clear.     Along  the   shore   at   my 

VOL.  II. — 25 

386        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

feet  the  waves  of  the  North  Water,  silver  in  the  wake 
of  the  moon,  ink  everywhere  else,  dashed  against  the 
ebon  rocks,  in  the  depth  of  the  iron  Arctic  winter. 
Almost  due  south,  across  the  Sound,  stood  out  the 
dark  mass  of  Kangahsuk,  the  savage  black  lover  of 
the  North  Water,  who,  ever  when  the  full  moon 
lights  his  iron  features,  wakens  in  amorous  fury,  and, 
aided  by  the  rushing  torrents  of  the  spring-tides 
sweeping  out  of  the  Sound,  shatters  the  steely-white 
fetters  of  his  mistress  like  thinnest  glass,  till  she  can 
heave  and  throb  against  his  breast,  and  waken  in  his 
caverned  heart  fierce  sio^hs  and  muffled  roarines,  the 
passion  language  of  this  frozen  world. 

Were  we  at  westward-reaching-  Peterahwik  now,  we 
would  see,  at  noon,  a  dim  ribbon  of  light  upon  the  sea 
horizon  to  the  south,  the  faint  reflection  of  the  dis- 
tant sun.  Here  in  the  Sound  the  cliffs  of  the  r,outh 
shore  rise  far  above  this  narrow  zone  of  twilight,  and 
the  reign  of  the  "Great  Night"  will  be  undisputed 
for  weeks  yet. 

Only  one  of  the  Keate  igloos  was  in  commission. 
It  was  occupied  by  a  family  no  member  of  which  I 
had  seen.  The  man,  a  shiftless,  lazy,  dirty  specimen, 
according  to  all  reports,  was  said  to  have  obtained  his 
wife  by  allowing  her  husband,  his  friend,  to  fall  over 
the  bird  cliffs.  She  was  a  sister  of  Ikwah,  my  native 
hunter  at  Red  Cliff.  They  had  a  nearly  grown 
daughter  who  had  never  seen  a  kobhuiah  or  white 
man.  It  was  with  considerable  Interest,  therefore, 
that  I  followed  Lee  through  the  lone,  narrow  tos- 
silt,  or  entrance,  and  emerged  into  the  Igloo.  I  was 
expectmg  to  find  a  dirty  and  disreputable  igloo, 
and  in  this  I  was  not  disappointed.  With  all  that  I 
had  seen  of  the  physical  beauty  (?)  of  this  tribe,  I 
was  not  prepared  for  the  face  (belonging  to  the 
daughter)  which   met  my  eyes  as   I   looked  towards 

Sledge  Trips  of  the  Long  Night         3^7 

the  bed  platform  where  she  sat  tailor  fashion  and 
nearly  nude,  chewing  the  sole  bf  her  step-father's 
kamik  preparatory  to  sewing  a  patch  on  it.  As  Lee 
expressed  it,  "  It  would  fry  eggs."  Its  radiance  in  the 
io-loo  made  the  wind-swept  snow  and  rocks  outside 
seem  a  heaven.  The  igloo  was  too  small  to  accom- 
modate all  of  us,  even  had  it  been  more  attractive, 
and  I  instructed  the  men  to  build  a  snow  igloo  for  us. 


This  brought  out  the  information  that  one  of  the 
unoccupied  stone  igloos  was  available  for  us,  and  here 
our  impedimenta  were  taken.  This  igloo  was  the 
storehouse  of  the  family,  and  in  it  were  several,  seal- 
skin bags  pressed  full  of  hundreds  of  little  auks, 
feathers  and  all,  just  as  killed, — the  winter  food  supply 
of  the  family. 



m  -^i 

Sledge  Trips  of  the  Long  Night 


Though  bleak  and  savage  now,  in  summer  Keate 
is  a  garden-spot  :  a  httle  southward-facing  niche 
beside  a  glacier,  protected  by  bluffs  and  cliffs  on 
either  side  and  behind  from  the  wind,  the  breeding- 
place  of  millions  of  little  auks,  the  stream  beside  the 
glacier  furnishing  abundance  of  water,  and  the  south- 
ern exposure,  together  with  the  protection  of  the 
•cliffs  and  the  presence  of  the  little  auks,  carpeting  the 
little  nook  with  flowers  and  an  abundance  of  grass. 

After  my  star  sights  here,  which  were  abruptly  cur- 
tailed by  an  inrushing  bank  of  fog  from  the  open 
water,  I  started  for  the 
eastern  end  of  Her- 
bert Island.  At  the 
eastern  end  of  North- 
umberland, we  had 
outpaced  the  fog,  and 
emerged  into  brilliant 
moonlight,  and  then, 
passing  along  the 
s  t  r  a  t  i  fi  e  d  bluffs  of 
Herbert,  we  started 
■our  fires  and  erected  a 
rude  snow  house  un- 
der the  overhanging 
shore  rocks  at  the  east-  towser. 

ern  end  of  Herbert. 

The  following  day,  we  galloped  back  to  Karnah, 
arriving  just  as  Kaiwingwah  and  Kioshoo,  the  cripple, 
■came  in  from  Kookan  ;  the  former  with  a  sledge- 
load  of  little  auks,  the  latter  with  his  stalwart  wife, 
and  a  pair  of  black  eyes  which  she  had  given  him 
in  some  family  misunderstanding.  In  the  evening 
the  village  was  a  scene  of  feasting.  A  fetid  seal-feed 
was  in  progress  in  Kardah's  igloo  ;  in  Akpalisoa- 
Jio's  a  little-auk  spread  was  laid  out;  and  in   Inger- 

390       Northward  over  the  ''Great  Ice" 

opahdoo's  another  feasting  crowd  was  gathered 
about  a  huge  wahus-ham,  which  took  up  nearly  all 
the  floor.  Ootooniah  and  Tellikotinah,  and  their 
wives,  visitors  from  the  south  shore  of  the  Sound, 
now  on  a  round  of  social  visits,  were  making  calls 
from  igloo  to  igloo,  sampling  all  the  feasts,  and 
gathering  all  the  gossip. 

Finally,  I  managed  to  get  a  comfortable  place  in 
Ingeropahdoo's  igloo,  and,  seated  beside  Eetooshok- 
shua,  his  wife,  drew  from  her  the  simple  astronomy 


of  her  people,  and  learned  about  Tooktokstte,  the 
celestial  herd  of  reindeer  (Ursa  Major),  Pitoohen, 
the  lamp  stones  (Cassiopeia),  the  Bear  and  Dogs 
(Pleiades),  etc.  Some  material  was  still  needed 
for  my  sledge  equipment,  such  as  sealskin,  rawhide 
line,  etc.,  and  I  made  a  tour  of  the  igloos  to  obtain 
the  articles.  A  present  of  a  few  biscuit  to  Tah- 
tahrah,    the    incurable    invalid,    lightened    his    poor^ 

Sledge  Trips  of  the  Long  Night        391 

emaciated  face  wonderfully.  Little  Koodlooktoo's 
heart  was  also  made  glad  by  a  deerskin  for  his  koole- 
tah  (winter  coat),  and  Eetooshokshua  by  enough 
little-auk  skins  to  make  herself  a  shirt.  Towser, 
Hector's  little  pup,  was  the  honoured  guest  in  the  ig- 
loo of  Ingeropahdoo,  to  whom  I  had  given  him. 
He  eats  when  the  family  eats,  quarrels  with  the  child- 
ren if  they  step  too  near  him  when  eating,  and  when 
he  is  through,  stretches  himself  full  length  on  the  bed 
platform  and  objects  strenuously  if  anyone  has  the 
temerity  to  sit  down  there  and  disturb  his  slumbers. 
These  royal  attentions  and  bed  of  roses,  as  it  were, 
are  due  to  his  possession  of  drooping  ears,  a  peculiar- 
ity greatly  prized  by  these  Eskimos  in  a  dog. 

To  my  great  regret  I  found  old  Lion  dead.  Poor 
old  fellow,  the  only  dog  of  his  kind  in  the  tribe,  big, 
powerful,  thick-furred,  maned  like  a  lion,  yet  white 
as  an  Arctic  wolf,  I  had  hoped  to  keep  him  through 
the  winter  and  take  him  to  the  States  again.  He  had 
seen  much  of  the  world,  but,  more  fortunate  than 
many  other  travellers,  died  on  his  native  heath,  in  the 
heart  of  the  "  Great  Night,"  which  he  knew  so  well. 
Only  two  of  the  five  noble  brutes  that  made  the  first 
journey  across  the  frozen  Sahara  of  the  "Great  Ice" 
are  left  now,  and  one  of  them  is  not  likely  to  survive 
the  winter. 

The  next  day  we  were  back  at  the  lodge. 



Characteristic  Occupations  of  a  Day — Missionary  Work — Panikpah 
OF  the  Old  Guard — Frost  Phantasies— An  Eskimo  Legend — The  Seal 
Harvest,  Wives,  and  a  Baby — A  Young  Girl's  Tramp— La  Grippe — An 
Eskimo  Duel — The  Stillness  of  Death — At  Last  the  Sun — A  Fohn 
Storm — Brilliant  Parhelion — Kokoyah  (the  Eskimo  Devil) — Story 
OF  the  Thermograph — Pessimism. 




p-ive  an  idea  of  these  : 

between  the  more 
important  events  of 
the  preceding  chapters, 
and  sometimes  occurring 
simultaneously  with  them, 
were  many  interesting 
and  essential,  even  though 
trifling,  incidents  of  our 
life  and  work.  The  fol- 
lowinor  extracts  from  the 
pages  of  my  journal  will 

Skating  on  Baby  Lake. — September  9,  1894.  The 
ice  on  Baby  Lake  has  formed  with  astonishing  rapid- 
ity. The  lake  was  not  frozen  over  when  I  returned 
from  Cape  York  three  days  ago,  and  yet  this  afternoon 
the  ice  on  it  is  three  inches  thick,  and  Lee  has  been 
skatincr  there. 

Characteristic  Occnpations  of  a  Day. — September  1 1, 
1894.  Lee  contracts  the  coal  pile,  spreads  some  hay 
to  dry  for  filling  the  house  walls,  and  does  his  year's 
washinor.  Nooktah  o-oes  deer-huntinof  and  returns 
about  midnight  unsuccessful.  The  last  of  the  ereen 
deerskins  nailed  up  to  dry  to-day.  In  spite  of  the 
low  temperatures,  these  skins  dry  in  twenty-four  hours. 


39^       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

After  lunch,  I  take  my  folding  kodak  and  scale  the 
southern  face  of  Mt.  Bartlett  for  a  round  of  views, 
returning  down  the  north  slope  via  the  mule  cache. 
The  summit  and  the  surrounding  plateau  are  covered 
with  snow.  The  prospect  down  the  bay  is  very  dis- 
courag^inor  for  boat  work.  The  cold  weather  since  I 
returned  from  Cape  York  has  been  extremely  favour- 
able for  the  formation  of  new  ice,  and  in  the  entire  bay 
there  is  no  open  water.  The  bergs  and  trash  ice, 
cemented  by  a  glassy  young  ice,  extend  well  out  into 


the  Sound.  Matt  will  have  a  difficult  job  getting 
back  from  Kangerdlooksoah.  McCormick  Bay,  in 
its  upper  portion  at  least,  is  entirely  free  of  ice,  and 
the  wind-swept  lakes  of  Tooktoo  Valley  are  apparently 
still  open.  On  the  way  up  Mt.  Bartlett,  I  see  a  hare, 
and  while  returning,  another  just  above  Baby  Lake. 
I  get  my  gun  and  go  back  after  the  latter.  He  weighs 
eight  pounds. 

Ahnigkitds  Birthday. — September  12,  1894. 
Baby  is  a  year  old  to-day,  and  Lee  and  I  have  had  a 
modest  spread  in  her  honour:  venison  steak,  corn,  hard- 



tack,  peaches,  coffee,  nuts,  candy,  figs,  and  oranges. 
She  and  her  mother  must  be  nearly  to  St.  John's 

An  Eskimo  J'/j//'/^— September  28,  1894.  Adah- 
rahingwah  tells  me  to-day  that  her  people  have 
heard  of  large  men  living  far  to  the  north,  who  wear 
nctclichs  (fur  jackets)  made  of  oogsook  (bearded- 
seal)  skin.  She  also  tells  me  that  the  Eskimos  are 
very  curious  to 
know  why  I  am 
so  persistent  in 
going  on  the  ice- 
cap, and  if,  per- 
haps, it  is  be- 
cause I  wish  to 
see  these  men. 

Mi  s  sionary 
Work. —  Octo- 
ber 2,  1894.  I 
began  to-day  an 
attempt  to  re- 
claim and  par- 
tially civilise  my 
aboriginal  reti- 
nue here.  Every- 
one was  required 
to  take  a  thorough  bath  with  hot  water,  plenty  of  soap, 
and  scrubbing-brush.  I  was  surprised  at  the  lightness 
of  some  of  the  skins.  Panikpah  is  nearly  white. 
The  cuticle  of  the  two  grirls  was  almost  freed  of  the 
dirt  accumulations  of  years,  though  some  of  it  will 
have  to  wear  off.  After  Adahrahincrwah  had  washed 
and  combed  her  hair  persistently,  till  it  was  presuma- 
bly uninhabited,  I  gave  her  an  old  undershirt,  and  a 
bit  of  red  cloth  to  tie  about  her  head,  and  as  she  sits 
tailor-fashion,  sewing  upon  a  pair  of  new  fur  trousers, 


39^       Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  " 

which  she  is  making  for  herseh  from  scraps  of  fox-  and 
coonskins,  she  would  compare  quite  favourably  with 
many  of  the  South-Greenland  half-breed  belles.  I 
shall  endeavour  to  get  new  clothes  on  these  girls,  who 
are  accomplished  seamstresses,  so  that  they  can  make 
our    ice-cap   costumes  without  danger  of    colonising 

them.  It  is  pos- 
sible, also,  that 
they  may  be 
taught  to  wash 
dishes,  towels, 
etc.,  sweep,  and 
perhaps  cook. 
Little  Kood- 
looktoo  I  must 
clothe  for  the 
winter ;  and  also 
the  children  of 
Nooktah,  who 
has  worked  so 
steadily  and 
faithfully  for  me 
that  he  has  had 
no  time  to  look 
after  them.  I 
feel  that  I  have 
quite  a  respon- 
sibility upon  me. 
Paiiikpa/i  of 
the  Old  Guard. 
— Oct,  3,  1894. 
All  my  dogs,  ex- 
cept Panikpah, 
of  that  noble  Old 
Guard  which  survived  the  battle  with  the  "  Great 
Ice"  in  1892,  and  Lassie's  surviving  pup,  are  on  the 

Daughter  of  Nooktah. 



ice-cap  with  Lee  and  Matt.  Their  absence,  and  the 
abundant  food  since  the  return  from  the  walrus  hunt, 
has  made  Panikpah  act  something  like  his  old  self ; 
and  when  I  go  out,  he  jumps  before  me,  wags  his 
tail,  shakes  his  poor  scarred  head,  growls  affection- 
ately, and  licks  my  hands  as  of  old.  When  the  other 
younger  and 
stronger  dogs 
are  here,  they 
punish  the  old 
veteran  so  much 
he  does  not  dare 
to  move.  He 
will  never  re- 
cover from  his 
last  starvation 
experience,  when 
two  brave  (?) 
members  of  my 
party,  in  a  fiasco 
trip  to  Tooktoo 
Valley,  left  him 
across  the  bay, 
and  the  poor  dog 
was  two  weeks 
without  food, 
reaching  the 
lodge  at  the  end 
of  that  time  in  a 
pitiable  condi- 
tion. It  is  a  waste 
of  meat  to  feed 
him,  yet  he  shall 
be  fed  until  he  dies,  for  his  splendid  work  in  the  past. 
An  Experiment. — Oct.  24,  1894.  This  afternoon 
I  put  my  liquid  boat-compass  on  a  sledge,  and  pushed 


400       Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  " 

it  down  the  bay  before  me,  to  get  an  idea  of  its  avail- 
abihty  for  use  on  the  ice-cap.  I  think  I  can  utiHse  it. 
Frost  Phantasies. — Oct.  30,  1894.  While  lying  on 
my  bearskin  divan  this  afternoon,  close  to  the  windows, 
thinking  out  a  design  for  my  sledge  tent,  my  atten- 
tion was  attracted  by  the  frostwork  on  the  windows. 
On  one  of  the  outer  of  the  double  windows,  the  inci- 
sive Arctic  artist  has  chosen  for  his  theme  a  deformed 

evergreen  tree, 
such  as  cling  to 
crevices  and  nar- 
row ledgfes  on 
mountain  cliffs, 
or  fringe  barren 
summits,  or 
straggle  along 
bleak  sandy 
sea-coasts ; 
trees  that  have 
been  scorched 
and  frozen  and 
s  t  o  rm-beaten 
their  entire  life, 
whose  branches 
are  all  on  one 
side,  and  perhaps 
one  of  them  a 
monstrous  de- 
formity as  large 
as  all  the  others, 
and  even   vvino" 

-PANIKPAH  OF  THE  OLD  GUARD."  .^.     even      v;yiii^ 

With  the  parent 
trunk  ;  trees  that  are  huncj  with  orrev  moss  and 
crusted  with  lichen,  whose  every  branch-extremity  is 
a  lance,  and  every  twig  an  arrow,  acute  with  defiance 
of  the  world  and  mutiny  at  their  own  hard  lot.      The 

Miscellanea  401 

pane  looks  as  if  an  entire  forest  of  such  had  suddenly 
betaken  itself  to  a  wild  witch's  ride,  and  at  every  pos- 
sible inclination,  in  twos,  and  threes,  and  singly,  was 
careering  across  the  crystal  field.  On  another  pane 
the  design  is  like  that  on  galvanised  iron,  but  far  more 
dainty  and  crystalline.  On  an  inner  pane,  to  which 
the  moisture  of  the  room  has  free  access,  and  which 
is  protected  from  the  radiation  of  the  stove  by  one  of 
the  side  boards  of  my  divan,  is  an  exquisitely  pure  and 
simple  design  in  bas-relief,  fit  for  a  frieze,  or  the  decor- 
ation of  an  heroic  vase  ;  its  theme,  the  curving  stalks 
and  spiral-coiled  heads  of  young  ferns,  just  pushing 
their  heads  through  moist  spring  for- 
est carpets.  The  stalks  of  these  glit- 
tering Arctic  prototypes  of  their  living 
Southern  brethren  are  fully  one-fourth 
inch  thick.  And  doMm  the  bay,  on  the 
new  ice  which  continually  forms  and 
breaks  again  around  the  big  bergs  as 
they  surp;e  to  and  fro  with  the  sprinor        ^„^^?,ost  , 

-^         .     &>  r        1  EVERGREENS. 

tides,  is  an  abundance  of  the  most 
exquisite  frozen  vegetation  :  large,  feathery,  fern-like 
crystals,  some  in  bunches  several  inches  across,  look- 
inof  Hke  baskets  of  skeletonised  leaves  ;  others  in  dense 
ribbons,like  the  coleusborders  in  West  FairmountPark. 
Given  favourable  conditions,  these  boreal  flowers  grow 
with  the  rapidity  of  the  bean-stalk  of  the  fairy  tale. 

Concentrated  Cooking. — Oct.  30,  1894.  When  I 
am  here  alone  I  evade  and  avoid,  in  every  possible 
way,  the  drudgery  of  cooking,  and  some  of  the  home 
folks  would  be  amused  at  the  way  in  which  I  made 
the  coffee-pot  do  simultaneously  treble  duty  in  get- 
ting my  dinner  to-day.  The  little  stove  has  but  two 
holes  for  cooking,  and  on  one  was  a  large  iron  pot, 
in  which  I  was  cookinof  venison  stew  enough  to  last 
me  the  rest  of  the  week.      This  left  me  but  one  hole 

VOL.  n.— 26 

402        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

over  which  to  consummate  the  rest  of  my  dinner, 
which,  according  to  my  mental  menu,  was  to  com- 
prise brown  bread,  apple-sauce,  and  tea.  While  the 
water  for  the  tea  was  heating  in  the  bottom  of  the 
coffee-pot,  a  half-loaf  of  brown  bread  was  being 
steamed  in  the  coffee-bag  at  the  top,  and  above  that 
a  saucerful  of  frozen  apple-sauce  was  thawing,  covered 
with  the  lid  of  the  coffee-pot. 

An  Eskimo  Legend. — Nov.  i,  1894.  Nooktah 
relates  to    me  the  following  legendary  conversation 

between  an  Es- 
kimo and  a  raven 
flying  over  with 
something  in  its 
mouth.  ""  Sitnah 
kingmiahpeu  ?  " 
asks  the  man. 
"  Inukkoktooah 
Eeoquaw ;  eeo- 
qtcaw  "  ("  The 
It  is  very  sweet.  Caw,  caw"), 
answers  the  raven. 

The  Seal  Harvest,  Wives,  ajid  a  Baby. — Nov.  4, 
1894.  Matt  returned  this  morning  from  Karnah  alone, 
Nooktah  remaining  there  to  hunt  seals.  The  natives 
are  making  the  most  of  the  new  ice  in  the  Sound,  be- 
fore snow  comes  to  cover  it  and  bring  the  harvest  to 
an  end.  Every  man  and  boy  that  can  raise  a  pussy- 
mitt  (seal  spear)  is  living  on  the  ice  night  and  day, 
clad  in  his  heaviest  furs,  his  feet  muffled  with  noiseless 
bearskin  pads,  and  with  his  little  three-legged  stool, 
on  which  at  a  pinch  he  sits  for  hours,  waiting  for  the 
unsuspecting  seal  to  come  to  its   breathing-hole,  and 

Vs/AT-e.R.    FOK 


thigrh-bone  of  a  man. 



receive  the  murderous  spear-thrust.  In  the  afternoon 
Panikpah  returns  and  tells  me  he  has  killed  sixteen 
seals  off  the  Castle  Cliffs,  and  Koolootingwah  an 
equal  number.  Over  a  hundred  seals  have  already 
been  killed  by  the  natives  of  Karnah  and  Koini- 
suni,  and  if  the  snow  holds  off  a  few  days  longer,  it 
is  likely  that,  in  addition  to  their  store  of  walrus  and 




'  1 


I- 4 








»  ^^ 



1  j 

H  1 




/  J 

m    1 

1     *-^ 

'  J 

■  % 

■  U 

w   « 



narwhal  meat,  there  will  be  two  seals  apiece  for  each 
man,  woman,  and  child  at  these  settlements.  Panik- 
pah also  tells  me  that  Koodlah's  wife  has  a  boy  baby, 
and  that  he  saw  Myah  on  his  way  from  Netiulumi, 
up  the  gulf  to  Koinisuni,  to  exchange  wives  with 
Kessuh.  This  shows  that  the  Sound  is  frozen  over 
as  far  out  as  Netiulumi,  and  that  Myah  has  a  soul 
above  monotonv. 

404       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

An  Embai^rassing  Position. — Nov.  lo,  1894.  Lee, 
Matt,  and  Panikpah,  with  two  sledges  and  all  the  dogs, 
got  away  at  9:30  this  morning  for  Kangerdlooksoah, 
to  endeavour  to  get  a  few  more  deer  in  the  last  of  the 
rapidly  waning  twilight.  Their  departure  puts  me 
in  the  somewhat  embarrassing  position  of  being  left, 
alone  and  unprotected,  with  five  buxom  and  oleagin- 
ous ladies,  of  a  race  of  naive  children  of  nature,  who 
are  hampered  by  no  feelings  of  false  modesty  or  bash- 


fulness  in  expressing  their  tender  feelings.  My  years, 
and  at  present  semi-crippled  condition  from  a  fall  on 
the  rocks,  will,  I  trust,  protect  me. 

A  Young  Girl's  Ti^anip. — Dec.  i,  1894.  After  start- 
ing the  fire  this  morning,  I  went  out  in  the  big  room 
where  the  natives  sleep,  and  found  that  Alakahsing- 
wah,  one  of  the  girls,  was  gone.  Inquiries  brought 
out  that  she  had  gone  to  Karnah.  Seized  by  one  of 
those  sudden  impulses  which  sway  these  children  of 


405  • 

nature,  she  had  risen  during  the  night,  and  started  off, 
with  nothing  to  eat,  and  without  a  word  to  anyone,  to 
walk  the  distance  of  twenty  miles  alone  in  the  bitter  cold 
and  dim  starlight.  What  would  any  of  our  fourteen- 
year-old  girls  at  home  think  of  such  a  constitutional  ? 

Aitrora  and 
Meteor.  —  Dec. 
27,  1894.  Early 
this  morning 
there  was  a  bril- 
liant curtain  au- 
rora extending 
across  the  sky 
from  south-east 
to  north-west, 
somewhat  west 
of  the  lod^e  at 
first,  but  shifting 
later  to  directly 
overhead  ;  and 
about  noon,  as  I 
stepped  out  of 
the  house,  a  bril- 
liant meteor  fell 
from  near  the  ze- 
nith southward 
into  the  mouth 
of  the  bay,  leav- 
ing a  long  trail 
behind  it,  and  bursting  finally  into  several  fragments. 

La  Grippe. — Dec.  27,  1894.  Almost  everyone  at 
Karnah  has  a  severe  cold  and  sore  throat,  some  of 
the  people  being  completely  laid  up  with  it  and  un- 
able to  talk.  It  is  doubtless  similar  to  the  Grippe 
which  appeared  among  the  natives,  and  my  own  party 
as  well,  at  Red  Cliff,  in  March,  1892. 


4o6       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Tales  of  Blood. — Dec.  27,  1894.  Nooktah  tells 
me  to-night  that  Koodlah,  father  of  Eetookashoo 
and  grandfather  of  Panikpah,  killed  a  native,  Ah- 
wahtingwah,  at  Peterahwik,  years  ago.  Also  that 
Ahwahtingwah  himself,  years  before,  had  killed  a 
man  at  the  western  end  of  Northumberland  Island. 

An  Eskimo  Duel. — Dec.  28,  1894.  Oomah  and  his 
family  left  this  morning,  and  Koko  and  his  latest 
wife,    the    recent   widow,    arrived    in   the    afternoon. 

"Her  Curves  Were  a  Trifle  Heavy." 

And  hereon  hangs  a  tale.  During  the  autumn,  Mak- 
sah,  one  of  the  Cape  York  hunters,  had  his  side  torn 
open  by  the  claws  of  a  polar  bear,  and,  after  lingering 
along  for  weeks,  finally  died.  His  widow,  Ahtook- 
sungwah,  came  north  with  her  young  daughter,  in 
the  cavalcade  which  accompanied  me  back  in  Decem- 
ber, and  her  arrival  in  the  metropolis  of  Karnah 
caused  ereat  excitement  amonof  the  masculine  ele- 
ment.     Ahtooksungwah  was   quite   light   (in   colour) 

Miscellanea  407 

and  had  a  form  like  a  walrus.  Her  glistening  face 
was  considerably  broader  than  it  was  long,  she  stood 
about  four  feet  six  inches  high,  and  weighed  about 
three  hundred  pounds,  her  figure  resembling  a  num- 
ber of  stuffed  pillows  fastened  together.  To  my 
mind,  her  curves  were  a  trifle  heavy,  but  she  evidently 
realised  the  Eskimo  ideal  of  beauty,  and  being  a 
widow  besides,  she  was  irresistible.  Many  were  her 
suitors,  but  the  most  favoured  ones  were  Koko,  a 
several-times  divorce,  and  Nowdingyah,  or  Akpudia 
("  Jumbo,"  we  called  him),  who,  since  the  death  of  his 
wife,  several  years  before,  had  had  no  eyes  for  the 
opposite  sex  beyond  his  little  apple-cheeked  daughter 
Ahweahgoodloo,  on  whom  all  his  affections  seemed 
centred.  Yet  his  heart  had  incontinently  melted 
with  the  warmth  of  the  widow's  oleaginous  smile,  like 
a  piece  of  frozen  blubber  in  the  flame  of  an  ikomar. 

The  rivalry  between  these  two  waxed  so  intense 
that  it  was  evident  something  serious  would  occur, 
and  no  one  was  surprised  when  Koko  entered  the 
igloo  where  Nowdingyah,  seated  upon  the  edge  of 
the  bed-platform,  was  trimming  a  whip-lash,  jerked  the 
lash  from  his  hands,  and  seating  himself  beside  him, 
threw  his  arms  about  his  waist,  and  attempted  to  force 
him  upon  his  back  upon  the  platform.  Not  a  word 
was  said  by  either  or  by  anyone  in  the  igloo,  yet 
everyone  knew,  as  the  two  strained  and  twisted  with 
quick,  loud  breath,  that  the  struggle  was  for  the 
widow.  For  several  minutes  the  struororle  continued, 
till  Koko,  at  last,  with  a  supreme  effort,  crushed  his 
antagonist  prone  upon  his  back,  then,  jumping  quickly 
to  his  feet,  left  the  igloo  and,  harnessing  his  dogs, 
drove  off  with  the  widow  on  a  bridal  tour  to  the 
lodge.  He  had  won  the  prize  in  a  bloodless  Eskimo 
duel.  An  interesting  sequel  to  this  was  that,  after 
spending  a  brief  and  blissful  honeymoon  of  two  or 

4o8       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice 

three  days  at  the  lodge,  Koko  returned  to  Kar- 
nah,  when  my  previously  staid  henchman  Ikwah, 
though  already  possessed  of  a  wife  and  child,  became 
enamoured  of  the  widow,  strayed  from  the  paths  of 
propriety,  vanquished  Koko  in  another  bloodless 
duel,  left  him  to  proceed  alone  and  disconsolate  to 
Cape  York,  and  installed  the  rotund  siren,  with  all 
her  wealth  and  witchery  of  charms,  in  his  own  igloo. 
Eskimo  Superstitions. — Jan.  15, 
1895.  One  of  the  women  dreamed 
last  night  of  seeing  a  recently  deceased 
woman,  and,  as  a  result,  all  my  Eski- 
mos are  in  mortal  terror  to-day  and 
will  not  move  a  step  alone. 

The  Stillness  of  Death. — Jan.  19, 
1895.  While  adjusting  my  transit  to- 
day for  some  star  sights,  I  was  deeply 
impressed  with  the  stillness,  broken 
only  by  the  cracking  and  groaning  of 
the  ice-foot.  It  is  a  great  contrast  to 
a  year  ago,  when  half  a  hundred  dogs 
made  every  hour  in  the  twenty-four 
hideous.  Now  there  is  only  poor  old 
Lion,  whom  I  brought  home  from 
Karnah,  because  I  wanted  his  skin, 
lying  stark  and  stiff  in  the  starlight. 

First  Glimpse  of  Sunlight. — Feb. 
II,  1895.  Kyogwito  returned  early 
this  morning  from  Ittibloo  with  a  seal  for  me.  He 
reports  seeing  the  sun  shining  upon  the  highest  ice- 
cap of  Northumberland  Island  yesterday.  He  tells 
me  many  natives  will  start  for  Peterahwik  in  a  few 
days  to  hunt  walrus.  The  Tigerahomi  notch  at  noon 
to-day  was  a  blaze  of  yellow  glory,  though  the  sun  is 
still  below  the  horizon. 

Matt  Returns  from  Sledge   Trip. — Feb.    14,    1895. 




Matt  returned  to-night  from  Karnah,  Netiulumi,  Keate, 
and  Igloodiowny,  as  I  directed.  He  has  been  gone 
eight  days  and  is  back  a  day  sooner  than  I  anticipa- 
ted. He  reports  that  Tellikotinah  (alias  "  George 
Washington  ")  is  anxious  to  bring  me  a  load  of 
narwhal  meat,  to  atone  for  past  misdeeds  ;  that  there 
is  still  open  water  at  Cape  Parry,  and  much  young 
ice  between  there  and  Netiulumi,  which  will  require 
a  few  more  days  to  render  safe ;  that  the  open  water 


at  Keate  has  retreated  a  little  to  the  west  of  the  Ke- 
ate Glacier ;  and  that  Ikwah  and  his  new  wife  are 
alone  at  Keate,  the  other  family  having  moved  to 
Netiulumi.  He  found  a  pool  of  open  water  in  the  chan- 
nel between  Northumberland  and  Herbert  Islands, 
with  three  bergs  in  it ;  a  pool  similar  to  the  one  I  saw 
in  1892,  but  much  larger.  That  had  one  berg  in  it. 
This  accounts  for  the  somewhat  erroneous  informa- 
tion obtained  from  Erasmus  York  and  appearing  in 

4IO       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice 

the  following  legend  on  his  map  in  Arctic  Papers  ; 
"  No  ice  ever  forms  in  this  channel ;  icebergs  pass 
through  this  channel  in  winter."  If  a  berg  is  caught 
here,  the  powerful  tidal  currents  sway  it  back  and  forth, 
keeping  open  water  about  it  till  the  next  summer. 
An   Anniversary. — Feb.    15,    1895.      A    dull    day, 

leaden  grey 
clouds  overhead, 
finally  settling 
down  upon  the 
bluffs,  and  to- 
ping  snow  and 
rain.  A  year  ago 
to-day,  Jo  and  I 
welcomed  the  re- 
turning sun  from 
a  rocky  knob  well 
up  Mt.  Bartlett. 
Had  it  been 
clear,  I  should 
have  gone  there 
to-day  to  wel- 
come it  again  and 
indulge  in  rever- 
ies and  memories 
of  the  dear  one 
far  away. 

Work  on 
Eqiiipment.  — 
Feb,  16,  1895.  Lee  at  work  putting  up  meat  rations 
for  the  ice-cap  journey.  This  evening  he  is  plotting 
the  work  of  his  last  sledge  trip.  Matt,  with  a  little 
native  assistance,  has  assembled  the  trailer  sledge 
"  Chopsie."  It  is  eight  feet  long,  eighteen  inches  wide, 
and  weighs  seventeen  pounds,      "Freckles"  has  been 


Miscellanea  411 

fitting  a  pair  of  ski  for  the  "Josephine"  to  be  used  in 
soft  snow,  and  Nooktah  and  Ihrllie  have  made  them- 
selves generally  useful. 

Old  Ahtungahnaksoah,  who  has  quite  a  reputation 
as  an  angakok,  had  one  of  her  spells  to-day,  and 
chanted  herself  into  a  state  of  hysteria  during  which 
she  cried  and  sang  and  shrieked,  and  acted  like  an  in- 
sane woman. 

At  Last  the  Sun.—  V^.  17,  1895.  The  sun  touched 
the  lodge  to-day,  and  for  a  few  minutes  bathed  the 
south  side  of  Mt.  Bartlett  in  s^olden  liMit.  Thoughts 
of  Jo  and  the  blue-eyed  mite  have  been  with  me  all 
day.  At  three  a.m.,  the  trace  of  the  thermograph  had 
risen  above  the  zero  line  ;  at  five  p.m.,  it  touched  the 

A  Fohii  StoT-in. — Feb.  18,  1895.  The  wind  blew 
furiously  at  intervals  during  the  night,  the  tem- 
perature rose  to  42°  F.,  and  the  heavy  icy  condensa- 
tion inside  the  lantern  was  loosened,  and  came  crashing 
down  on  to,  and  in  some  places  through,  the  inner 
glass.  The  high  temperature  held  throughout  the 
forenoon,  with  continuation  of  wind  from  the  south- 
east. Within  the  lodge  it  was  insufferable.  Between 
noon  and  one  o'clock,  the  wind  changed  to  north-east, 
the  temperature  fell  rapidly,  and  it  began  to  snow.  I 
had  a  virulent  attack  of  the  blues  to-day,  due  doubt- 
less to  the  physical  relaxation  resulting  from  the  high 
temperature.  This  storm  is  the  third  and  most  pro- 
nounced of  these  surprising  manifestations  which  have 
occurred  this  winter;  the  first,  January  13th,  and  the 
second,  February  6th,  the  latter  accompanied  by  a  tem- 
perature of  39°  F.  and  a  barometer  of  31.28  inches. 

A  Bi'illiant  Parhelion. — Feb.  20,  1895.  At  last  a 
clear  day,  and  at  eleven  a.m.  the  sun  was  entirely  above 
the  Tigerahomi  Bluffs,  and  shone  on  the  lodge  for 
almost    an    hour.     As  it  disappeared  behind    South 

^-..  (. 


.^X^^^il ..— i 


Miscellanea  413 

Point,  a  bright  parhelion  appeared  and  afforded  a 
striking  display.  The  wind  was  from  the  east,  off 
the  ice-cap,  so  that  the  upper  atmosphere  was  laden 
with  impalpable  snow-dust  from  the  frozen  Sahara  of 
the  interior,  and  the  entire  bay  was  lit  with  the  splen- 
dour, the  dazzling  colours  of  the  "sun-dog"  or  parhe- 
lion, a  phenomenon  which  is  nowhere  to  be  seen  in 
such  brilliancy  as  in  the  Arctic  regions.  Around  the 
god  of  day  circled  two  concentric  rings  of  rainbow- 
coloured  light,  with  a  third  inverted,  resting  upon  the 
top  of  the  others.  Set  in  the  inner  of  these  rings, 
directly  over  the  sun  and  on  either  side,  were  three 
fainter  images  of  itself,  the  "  sun-doo^s."  A  brilliant 
corona  of  yellow  light  surrounded  the  sun,  rendering 
the  disk  indistinct.  From  this  corona  a  triangular 
tongue  of  yellow  light  flared  upward  till  its  point 
touched  the  upper  "sun-dog,"  and  two  paler  bands  of 
light  stretched  horizontally  from  the  sun  to  and  be- 
yond the  flanking  "  sun-dogs." 

Native  Drawing. — Feb.  21,  1895.  I  amused  my- 
self for  an  hour  or  two  to-day  with  the  artistic  efforts 
of  some  of  the  natives.  The  aptitude  of  the  Eskimo 
as  a  race  at  map  drawing  is  well  known.  Many  of 
this  tribe  show  a  surprising  talent  for  drawing,  and  I 
am  collecting  examples  of  their  efforts. 

A  Visit  front  Kokoyah  (Eskimo  Devil). — Feb. 
23,  1895.  Was  wakened  at  three  a.m.  by  a  loud 
crash,  and  became  conscious  that  the  demon  of  the 
wind  was  on  hand  aofaiin  and  doino-  more  mischief.  I 
Immediately  dressed,  went  out,  and  climbed  to  the 
roof — throwing  myself  flat  when  the  gusts  came  tum- 
blinof  off  Mt.  Bartlett — to  see  that  the  sledo^es  were 
securely  lashed.  I  took  a  few  additional  turns  for 
safety,  and  then  made  a  tour  of  the  house^  but  could 
discover  nothing  wrong.  This  morning  the  Freya 
had   disappeared  and  a  search  discovered  what  was 



left  of  her  high  up  among  the  rocks  at  the  head  of  the 
harbour.  She  had  been  picked  up  bodily  by  the  wind, 
borne  through  the  air  some  hundred  yards,  dashed 
against  a  pinnacle  of  the  ice-foot,  then  picked  up 
again  and  hurled  far  up  the  rocks,  fully  fifty  feet 
above  high-water  mark.  There  was  not  an  unbroken 
board,  knee,  or 
timber  in  her. 
Every  time  the 
devilish  wind 
destroys  some- 
thing. Last  time 
it  was  my  transit; 
now,  my  boat. 
Perhaps  it  will 
get  one  of  us 
next.  Nooktah 
says  Kokoyah 
(the  Devil)  de- 
stroyed the  boat. 
He  saw  a  dog 
barking  furious- 
ly at  the  boat 
yesterday  and 
has  no  doubt 
that  Kokoyah 
was  in  it  at  that 
very  time. 

A  Frozen  Fog. 
—  March  11, 
1895.  A  New  England  coast  fog  all  day  except  for  the 
temperature,  which  has  been  -4°  F.  to -6°  F.  Every- 
thing is  densely  coated  with  finest  frost-crystals.  At 
noon  the  crest  of  Mt,  Bartlett,  lit  by  the  yellow  light, 
shone  throuofh  a  rift  in  the  foor  overhead,  suoforestinof, 
though  in  no  way  resembling,  the  Peak  of  Teneriffe. 


41 6       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Matt  Goes  SoiUh. — March  12,  1895.  Matt  left  this 
mornine  for  Wolstenhohn  Sound  and  Petowik  Glacier 
via  Karnah  and  Netiulumi  to  purchase  dogs.  He  is 
to  meet  me  at  Peterahwik  next  Tuesday  night. 

The  Story  of  the  Ther77iograph. — March  13,  1895.  A 
brilliant  clear  day.  The  thermograph  tells  now  whether 
it  is  a  clear  day  or  not,  the  trace  rising  as  the  sun  ap- 
pears from  behind  the  eastern  wall  of  the  bay,  and 
falling  as  it  disappears  behind  the  Red  Cliff  ice-cap. 
The  sheet  for  the  week  looks  like  the  profile  of  an 
Alpine  range. 

Hoi'ace  Greeley. — March  1 3,  1 895.  In  the  afternoon, 
Arrotoksoah  (Horace  Greeley),  my  old  friend  of  Red 
Cliff  House,  arrived.  The  old  man  is  aging  and, 
though  still  sturdy,  his  hair  is  getting  decidedly  grey. 
He  is  just  as  affable  and  unassuming  as  ever. 

Pessimism. — March  16,  1895.  I  do  not  know  if  it 
is  impaired  digestion  or  the  lingering  effect  of  the  un- 
utterable Arctic  night,  but,  in  spite  of  the  return  of 
the  sun,  I  have  the  blues  repeatedly.  As  long  as  the 
sun  is  above  the  horizon,  I  almost  take  a  hopeful  view 
of  things,  though  with  an  effort.  But  the  moment 
the  evening  shades  begin  to  gather,  I  grow  pessimistic, 
and  waken  in  the  morning  in  the  depths  of  the  blues. 
The  journey  now  so  near,  is,  under  our  heavy  handi- 
cap, such  a  forlorn  hope.  I  do  not  count  the  work, 
the  risk  ;  but  can  we  win  '^. 



Haunts  of  the  Walrus — The  Spring  Walrus  Grounds — Purchasing 
Meat -The  Capture  of  Walrus  on  the  Ice. — Wild  Ooglooksoah — 
Weird  Songs  of  the  Angakoks — Bustle  and  Excitement  at  the  Spring 
Rendezvous— Successful  Hunters — Back  to  the  Lodge. 



IN  summer  there  are 
three  haunts  of  the 
walrus  in  the  region 
lying  between  Cape  Olsen 
and  Cape  York.  One 
is  in  and  off  the  mouth 
of  Wolstenholm  Sound  ; 
another  in  Omenak  Sound, 
from  the  eastern  end  of 
Herbert  Island  out  past 
Cape  Robertson ;  and  a 
third  is  about  Littleton 
Island  and  Life-Boat  Cove,  and  well  out  toward  the 
centre  of  Smith  Sound. 

During  July,  August,  and  September,  the  animals 
may  be  found  in  large  numbers  in  each  of  these  lo- 
calities, feeding  on  the  bottom  in  shallow  water,  where 
they  find  large  quantities  of  a  species  of  shell-fish,  or 
basking  in  the  sun  upon  the  drifting  ice-pans.  In 
one  locality  only,  Littleton  Island  and  the  shore  of 
the  mainland  abreast  of  it,  are  the  walrus  of  this 
region  ever  found  upon  the  rocks.  At  any  of  these 
places  they  may  be  seen  either  upon  the  ice  or  in  the 
water,  singly,  or  by  twos  or  threes,  or  in  groups,  and 
so  on  up  to  herds  numbering  hundreds.  I  have  seen 
what   I  carefully  estimated  as  between  one  hundred 


420       Northward  over  the  ''Great  Ice 

and  one  hundred  and  fifty  on  one  large  pan  of  ice, 
and  as  many  more  in  the  water  about  it. 

There  is  a  pecuHar  circumstance  in  connection  with 
these  three  summer  haunts  of  the  wahus,  and  that  is 
that  only  females,  calves,  and  young  males  are  to  be 
found  about   Littleton   Island   and  Omenak    Sound, 

and  only  males, 
and  most  of 
them  old  ones, 
in  Wolstenholm 

A  few  of  the 
animals  are  ob- 
tained at  each 
of  these  places 
by  the  Eskimos 
durinof  the  sum- 
mer,  but  not  less 
than  two-thirds, 
and  perhaps 
three-fourths,  of 
the  annual  wal- 
rus catch  of  the 
tribe  is  obtained 
duringthe  spring 
hunt  at  Peterah- 

Peterahwik  is  the  Eskimo  name  for  Cape  Chalon 
of  the  charts.  It  is  easily  recognisable  by  a  black 
trap  dyke  running  along  the  southern  side  of  the 
bluff  forming  the  cape,  from  its  extreme  point  to 
the  first  glacier  east,  a  distance  of  some  two  miles. 
This  dyke,  which  is  from  thirty  to  fifty  feet  thick, 
forms  a  titanic  retaininof-wall  for  a  mass  of  stratified 
sandstone  rising  above  it  to  a  heigflit  of  from  one 
thousand  to  twelve  hundred  feet. 


A  Week  at  Peterahwik 


From  this  point  wild  Ooglooksoah  (Cape  Alexan- 
der) stands  out  in  savage  relief  twenty-five  miles 
to  the  northward,  and  in  clear  weather  the  opposite 
coast  of  Ellesmere  Land  is  visible,  westward  across 
Smith  Sound, 


Here  is  the  spring  walrus-hunting  ground  of  the 
natives  ;  the  edge  of  the  North  Water,  with  its  border 
of  thin  ice  forming  after  every  wind,  being  never 
many  miles  distant  to  the  west  or  south-west. 

The  North  Water  off  this  cape  seems  to  be  the 
winter  resort  of  all  the  walrus  of  the  region,  and  as 
early  as  the  first  of  February,  when  there  area  few  hours 
of  twilight  at  noon,  but  before  the  sun  has  returned, 
scouts  from  the  nearest  Eskimo  village,  with  li^ht 
sledges  and  picked  dogs,  dash  off  to  Peterahwik,  and 
thence  westward  from  the  cape,  till  they  reach  the 
edge  of  the  North  Water,  where  they  note  the  con- 

42  2        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice 

ditions  of  the  ice,  and  Hsten  for  the  deep  beUowing  of 
the  wahus  beyond.  If  the  indications  are  favourable 
they  return  to  their  homes,  and  couriers  carry  the 
news  throughout  the  tribe.  Then  family  after  family 
takes  up  its  march  for  the  cape,  and  on  arriving 
erects  a  snow  igloo  upon  the  ice-foot  at  the  base  of 
the  cliffs  ;  until,  by  the  latter  part  of  February,  half 
or  two-thirds  of  the  tribe  will  be  gathered  there. 

Then  the  hunt 
is  prosecuted 
well  into  the 
spring,  when  the 
widening  North 
Water  reaches 
the  cape,  and 
begfins  to  eat  its 
way  past  it,  which 
would  cut  off  the 
retreat  of  the 

During  all  this 
time  there  is  the 
greatest  bustle 
and  activity,  and 
the  numerous 
sledge  tracks 
from  all  parts  of  the  coast,  uniting  as  they  near  the 
cape,  form  a  broad  beaten  highway. 

Then  at  last  family  after  family  deserts  the  snow 
igloos,  and  flits  eastward  to  Robertson  Bay,  where 
they  have  for  some  time  previously  been  transporting 
their  meat,  and  from  here  they  separate  to  the  vari- 
ous localities  which  they  have  chosen  for  their  sum- 
mer residence.  The  spring  sun  melts  the  sledge 
tracks,  and  the  disrupting  floes  carry  the  ephemeral 
highway  to  dissolve  in  warmer  waters,  and  the  wild 


A  Week  at  Peterahwik 


rocks  of  Peterahwik  are  left  to  the  noyahs  (burgo- 
masters), the  sergwahs  (black  guillemots),  and  the 
pounding  waves. 

Monday,  March  18,  1895,  I  left  the  lodge  with  my 
iron-runner  sledge  drawn  by  eight  dogs,  for  Peterahwik 
via  Karnah,  to  obtain  walrus  meat  and  dogs  to  make 
up  my  full  complement  of  both  for  the  ice-cap  journey. 


rwo  MAP3    Of  coftsr 
'BOM     P£:T£.nAHVJIK    To    C    a  Z-e.X/>/VO£./^ 
£?^J\  W/^/    9  Y  o 

'.  H  £.n/r  Jfv/\r/v  £.5 

On  the  way  down  the  bay  I  overtook  Kyangwah, 
wife,  and  child,  and  Soker,  wife,  and  child,  who  were 
walking,  and  gave  them  a  lift  by  taking  the  child- 
ren on  my  sledge.  It  was  a  brilliant  clear  day,  and 
I  arrived  at  Karnah  in  the  afternoon,  just  as  the  sun 
was  setting  behind  the  ice  and  bergs  of  Murchison 
Sound.  I  found  the  settlement  almost  deserted,  nearly 
everyone  having  moved  to  Peterahwik. 

The  next  morning,  early,  I   too  started  westward, 

424       Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice 

accompanied  by  handsome  young  Sipsu.  Sipsu  was 
anxious  to  get  to  Peterahwik  and  take  a  hand  in  the 
wahus  hunting,  but  he  had  no  dogs,  so  I  told  him 
that  if  he  would  work  his  passage  by  driving  mine  he 
might  go  with  me.  It  was  another  fine  day,  crisp, 
cold,  and  clear,  the  road  was  well  broken  by  the 
numerous  sledges  which  had  preceded  us,  and  we 
reached  Cape  Cleveland  at  noon,  then  passing  across 
the  mouths  of  McCormick  and  Robertson  Bays  ar- 
rived at  Nerke,  at  the 
base  of  its  black  cliffs, 
about  eight  o'clock  in 
the  evening. 

Some  time  before 
reaching  Nerke,  the 
tracks  of  a  sledge  com- 
ing from  the  south, 
from  the  channel  be- 
tween Herbert  and 
Northumberland  Is- 
lands, had  joined  the 
main  trail,  and  from 
certain  peculiarities 
about  the  track  I  knew 
that  it  had  been  made 
by  Matt's  sledge,  and 
that  he,  returning  from  the  southern  journey  on  which 
he  had  started  just  a  week  previous,  had  passed  that 
way  the  night  before  or  that  very  morning,  to  keep  the 
rendezvous  which  I  had  appointed  at  Peterahwik. 

At  Nerke  I  learned  that  he  had  passed  the  day 
before,  and  had  succeeded  in  purchasing  but  three 
dogs.  It  had  been  my  original  intention  to  make  the 
distance  from  Karnah  to  Peterahwik  in  one  march, 
but  Annowkah,  one  of  the  two  men  living  here,  who 
was  on  my  list  of  eligibles  for  the  ice-cap  party,  was 


A  Week  at  Peterahwik 


away  for  the  night,  and  as  I  wished  to  have  a  talk 
with  him  on  the  subject,  I  told  Sipsu  to  make  the 
dogs  fast  and  that  we  would  sleep  here  and  go  on  to 
Peterahwik  in  the  morning. 

The  following  morning,  after  an  early  coffee,  I  had 
a  short  talk  with 
Annowkah  and 
his  companion  in 
the  house,  Kar- 
dasuh,  which  re- 
sulted in  my  en- 
pfagfinor  both  of 
them  for  the  ice- 
cap. Then  a 
short  ride  in  the 
stineinof  morn- 
i  n  g  twilight 
brought  me  to 
bustling  Peter- 
ahwik. I  found 
Matt  here,  and 
learned  from 
him  that  he  had 
been  the  round 
of  the  settle- 
ments as  far 
south  as  the  Pe- 
towik  Glacier, 
but  that  the  na- 
tives south  of 
the  Sound  held 
their  dogs  too 
dear,  and  three  was  all  that  he  had  been  able  to  obtain. 

I  very  quickly  effected  the  purchase  of  six  from  the 
Peterahwik  hunters,  but  found  that  Akpalisoaho, 
Panikpah,  Kardah,  and   Koolootingwah  had  left  the 


426        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice 

village  four  days  before  for  an  extended  bear  hunt 
to  the  north  in  Kane  Basin,  beyond  Anoritok  and 
Rensselaer  Harbour.  They  would  not  be  likely  to 
return  for  several  days  yet,  and  as  each  had  dogs 
that  I  wanted,  I  must  perforce  wait  for  them. 

In  the  evening,  after  the  return  of  the  men  from 
the  walrus  grounds  to  the  westward,  with  their  sledges 
loaded  with  crimson  meat,  there  was  an  angakok 
gathering  in  one  of  the  snow  igloos  which  I  attended. 

The  hoarse 
voices  of  the 
wraiths  of  bears 
and  walrus,  the 
shrill  cries  of 
sea-birds,  the 
croak  of  ravens, 
the  gloom  of  the 
Arctic  night,  are 
minofled  in  the 
weird  "medi- 
cine "  sonofs  of 
these  people. 

The  following 
morning,  with 
the  earliest 
light,  nearly  all 
the  hunters 
started  off  to  the  west  and  south-west  for  the  haunts 
of  the  walrus,  on  the  thin  ice  along  the  edge  of  the 
distant  North  Water. 

From  the  men  who  remained  I  purchased  thirteen 
pieces  of  walrus  meat  averaging  some  fifty  pounds  each. 
Before  noon  three  sledges  came  in  piled  high  with 
the  meat  from  a  big  walrus  just  killed,  and  of  this  I 
obtained  a  portion.  Then  I  drove  down  to  Ahwaglu- 
ahwi,  where   I   obtained   ten   more  pieces.      Then  at 


A  Week  at  Peterahwik 


nlorht  the  hunters  came  in  bring-ino-  two  more  walrus 
killed  by  my  handsome  driver  Sipsu,  and  from  him  I 
obtained  a  few  hundred  pounds  more.  Though  I 
must  remain  till  the  bear  hunters  returned  from  the 
north,  there  was  no  reason  why  Matt,  who  had  already 
been  ten  days  in  the  field,  should  remain  here,  when 

O  F 
SMOW     I  G  UOO  /  1  G  LOOY  A  H^ 

P  E-T  El  R  A   H    W  I    K 
M  A  a.      I  395" 

he  might  be  at  the  lodge  perfecting  a  number  of  last 
things  in  connection  with  the  ice-cap  equipment. 

Now  that  I  had  a  good  supply  of  meat,  he  could 
take  charge  of  a  party  to  convey  it  and  my  recently 
purchased  dogs  to  the  lodge.  On  the  way  back  from 
Ahwasfluahwi,  I  had  arrangred  with  Maksinorwah  and 
Ahlettah  to  accompany  him  with  their  sledges  and 
dogs,  and  each  take  a  load  of  meat.      They  got  away 

428       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

at  daylight  the  next  morning,  intending  to  take  the 
short  cut  for  the  lodge  via  McCormick  Bay,  Took- 
too  Valley,  and  across  Kahkoktah  Glacier, 

After  seeing  them  well  off  down  the  winding  track 
toward  Ahwagluahwi,  I  jumped  on  the  sledge  of  one 
of  the  hunters,  and  rattled  away  westward  to  the  hunt- 
ing grounds  to  see  for  myself  the  noble  sport. 


The  open  North  Water  off  Peterahwik  may  be 
anywhere  from  ten  to  twenty-five  miles  to  the  west  or 
south-west,  and  its  edge  shifts  like  the  fringe  of  a 
waving  curtain.  Two  or  three  days  of  heavy  wind 
will  eat  into  the  ice  and  bring"  the  water  several  miles 

A  Week  at  Peterahwik  429 

nearer  the  shore.  Then  during  the  following  calm,  the 
fierce  temperatures  of  February  and  March,  the  low- 
est of  the  year,  bind  the  motionless  water  with  a 
zone  of  young  ice,  which  in  twenty-four  hours  will 
support  a  sledge  and  team  of  dogs.  Then  is  the 
hunter's  time  ;  leaving  the  village  at  earliest  daybreak 
he  drives  out  to  the  edge  of  the  old  ice  where  the 
dogs  are  fastened,  and  then  on  foot  with  his  har- 
poon, line,  and  lance,  he  starts  out  upon  the  black 
mirror  of  the  new  ice. 


Soon  the  mufifled  erunt  of  a  walrus  in  the  water  be- 
neath  him  comes  to  his  ear,  or  perhaps  his  quick  eye 
may  catch  a  glimpse  of  the  animal  darting  through 
the  water,  and  with  intuitive  judgment  he  runs  noise- 
lessly over  the  ice  to  the  point  where  the  animal  is 
likely  to  lift  his  head  through  the  ice  for  breath. 
With  dexterity  born  of  long  practice,  the  harpoon  is 
driven  into  the  animal,  and  with  a  quick  motion  a 
turn  of  the  line  is  taken  round  the  iron  point  of  the 

430        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

lance,  driven  into  the  ice,  and  braced  with  the  foot. 
These  actions  have  aheady  attracted  the  attention  of 
a  comrade,  who  hastens  to  his  assistance,  and  in  a 
few  moments  his  murderous  lance  has  pierced  the 
lungs  of  the  bellowing  brute,  and  then  it  is  only  a 
question  of  keeping  the  line  fast  until  he  is  dead, 
when  the  huge  carcass  is  warped  out  on  the  ice,  and 
quickly  cut  up  ;  then  the  dogs  and  sledge  are  brought 
up,  the  meat  loaded  on  it,  and  the  hunters  return  to 
the  village. 


The  precise  position  of  the  settlement  of  Peterah- 
wik  depends  upon  the  particular  season  and  condition 
of  the  ice. 

In  1894,  the  snow  igloos,  over  forty  in  number,  were 
located  under  the  bluffs  close  by  the  glacier,  some  two 
miles  east  of  the  point  of  the  cape,  and  over  two- 
thirds  of  the  entire  tribe  were  assembled  here.  At  the 
time  of  my  visit  now,  the  majority  of  the  igloos  were 
located  on  the  ice-foot  on  the  southern  side  of  the 

A  Week  at  Peterahwik  431 

trap  dyke,  at  its  very  extremity,  where  a  long  drift  of 
compact  snow  furnished  suitable  material  for  con- 
struction purposes.  Other  igloos  in  groups  of  twos 
and  threes  were  located  at  various  points  along  the 
coast,  for  a  distance  of  twelve  miles. 

The  igloos  at  the  cape  were  arranged  in  a  regular 
line  with  their  backs  to  the  dyke,  their  entrances  to 
the  south,  and  about  fifty  feet  from  the  ice-foot,  the 
level  upper  surface  of  which  formed  a  wide,  smooth 
street  in  front  of  them.  These  igloos  were  on  an 
average  twenty-five  feet  apart,  and  though  varying 
somewhat  in  size,  according  to  the  number  of  occu- 
pants, were  all  built  on  one  pattern. 

With  the  Whale-Sound  Eskimo,  the  iglooyah,  or 
snow  house,  is  only  a  temporary  habitation,  built  for  a 
night's  shelter  when  travelling-,  or  for  a  week  or  so  at 
hunting  grounds  far  distant  from  his  village.  From 
the  fact  that  the  snow  igloos  of  Peterahwik  are  occu- 
pied sometimes  for  three  months,  while  at  other  locali- 
ties they  are  temporary  structures,  occupied  only  for 
a  few  days  or  at  most  a  week  or  two,  more  care  is 
taken  in  their  construction,  and  for  this  reason,  at 
Peterahwik  the  snow  igloo  may  be  seen  in  its  highest 

The  igloo  of  Ingoahpadu,  occupied  by  me,  was  one  of 
the  largest,  and  is  shown  in  detail  in  the  sketch  (page 
42  7),  It  was  twelve  feet  long,  by  twelve  feet  wide,  and 
seven  feet  high,  in  the  highest  part  beneath  the  seal- 
skin lining.  The  bed-platform,  raised  a  foot  and  a 
half  above  the  floor,  was  six  and  a  half  feet  deep  ; 
and  the  standing  room  in  front  of  it  six  feet  by  five 
feet.  The  window  of  seal  intestines  was  two  feet 
square.  The  igloo  was  lined  throughout  with  the 
tupik  or  summer  tent,  so  arranged  as  to  leave  an 
air  space  between  it  and  the  snow  walls  of  the  igloo, 
thus  preventing  the  latter  from  melting,  and  keeping 

432       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

the  interior  dry.  A  small  hole  In  the  highest  part  of 
this  lining,  and  another  directly  over  it  in  the  top  of 
the  igloo,  afforded  ventilation. 

The  succeeding  days  pending  the  arrival  of  the 
bear  hunters,  I  whiled  away  as  best  I  could,  measur- 
ing the  igloos  as  already  described,  taking  photos, 
questioning  the  natives  and  getting  them  to  draw 
maps  and  pictures  for  me,  sometimes  telling  them,  in 
return,  stories  about  the  wonderful  land  awahnaksoah 


(far  away)  to  the  south,  where  the  sun  every  day  in 
the  year  rose  in  one  direction,  passed  directly  over- 
head, and  disappeared  in  the  opposite  direction  ! 
land  where  there  was  grass  (trees)  as  tall  as  the  ice- 
berofs !  !  and  houses  as  largfe  as  the  smaller  of  the 
bergs !  !  ! 

The  last  of  my  supplies  had  been  consumed  by 
Matt  and  myself  on  the  morning  before  he  started 
back  to  the  lodge,  and  after  that  I  lived  upon  walrus 
meat  pure  and  simple,  without  tea,  sugar,  biscuit,  or 

A  Week  at  Peterahwik 


salt.  I  was  delighted  to  be  awakened  soon  after 
midnight  of  the  sixth  day,  by  someone  shouting  into 
the  entrance  of  the  igloo,  "  Na7inooksue  shadago " 
("  They  have  killed  the  bears  ").  Hurrying  outside,  I 
found  that  the  bear  hunters  had  returned,  bringing 
five  skins  and  their  sledges  piled  high  with  meat. 
They  reported  the  ice  in  Kane  Basin  smooth  and 
hard.  They  encountered  intense  cold  with  much 
wind.  All  had  their  faces  more  or  less  frost-bitten. 
I  did  not  turn  in  till  I  had  joined  the  victors  in  a 
bear  feast,  which  was  a  very  agreeable  change  from 
my  steady  diet  of  walrus,  and  to  which  I  did  full 

The  next  day  I  purchased  nine  more  dogs  and 
some  walrus  meat,  and  the  following  morning  started 
back  for  Karnah,  accompanied  by  a  regular  caval- 
cade, in  which  were  the  brave  fellows  who  were  to 
accompany  me  on  the  ice-cap. 

The  fifty-mile  journey  to  Karnah  with  the  meat- 
laden  sledges  was  long  and  tedious,  and  it  was  mid- 
night when  we  climbed  over  the  ice-foot  at  the  latter 
place.  Here  I  obtained  a  few  hours'  sleep,  and  at 
daylight  was  on  my  way  to  the  lodge  again,  arriving 
shortly  after  noon. 

*«,^  -»- 








-X                              ! 



Deficiency  of  Provisions— Final  Preparations — The  Start — Pemmican 
Cache  Buried  beyond  Recovery — My  Eskimos  Turn  back — Lee  Sick — 
Two  Men  and  Forty  Wolfish  Dogs — Over  a  Mile  and  a  Half  above 
THE  Sea — Prisoned  by  a  Furious  Storm — Unbroken  Expanse  of  the 
Frozen  Sahara — Destruction  of  Sledge — Dog  Food  Used  up  and  Dogs 
Give  out — Exhaustion — Land  at  Last. 




T  last  the  day  ar- 
rived to  which  I 
had  looked  for- 
ward and  for  which  I  had 
planned  so  long,  the  day 
set  for  the  departure  upon 
the  journey  across  the 
"  Great  Ice." 

What  a  striking  illus- 
tration of  the  law  of  the 
failure  of  reality  to  equal 
expectation  !  Though  at 
last  in  the  position  for  which  I  had  worked  so  long,  I 
was  terribly  handicapped. 

'  The  usual  stock  chapter  on  equipment  to  be  found  in  Arctic  narratives  is 
omitted  in  this  book,  primarily  for  economy  of  space,  secondarily  because  such 
chapter  is  of  value  only  to  those  specially  interested  in  Arctic  work,  and  not  to 
the  general  reader. 

Were  I  through  with  my  work  in  the  North,  it  would  be  my  duty  to  contribute 
my  experience  and  results  for  the  benefit  of  those  following.  As  my  task  is 
not  completed  and  further  experience  may  modifiy  many  things,  I  feel  that  de- 
tails of  equipment  can  easily  bide  their  time,  and  for  the  present  yield  room 
for  matters  of  more  general  interest. 

Some  general  remarks  on  equipment  will  be  found  in  the  Introduction. 

The  following  details  of  the  devising  and  construction  of  our  cooker  are 
given  simply  as  a  typical  illustration  of  the  shifts  to  which  we  were  forced  in 
connection  with  every  vital  item  of  our  equipment. 

With  the  loss  of  my  alcohol,  the  only  resource  left  us  in  the  way  of  fuel  was 
kerosene,  and  this  of  the  poorest  quality.  The  question  of  how  to  use  this,  and 
how  to  make  an  effective  cooker  and  boiler  from  the  material  at  hand,  was  a 


43^        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice 

Equipment  and   rations  were  both  makeshifts,  de- 
vised to  the  best  of  my  abihty  from  the  scant  means 

at  my  command,  and 
many  times  when  at 
work  upon  them  was  I 
reminded  of  Robinson 
Crosoe,  devising  h  i  s 
boat  and  its  simple  fit- 
tings from  material  ill- 
suited  to  the  purpose. 

Yet  I  was  better  off 
in  equipment  than  in 
provisions.  Experience 
and  ingenuity  could 
make  up  for  deficiencies 
in  the  former,  but  noth- 
ing could  take  the  place 
of  the  alcohol  and  pem- 
mican.  Without  these 
two  indispensable  items 
of  an  Arctic  field  ration, 
no  expedition  has  in  re- 
cent years  attempted  a 
long  sledge  journey.  So 
heavy  was  this  handi- 
cap, that  it  more  than 
made  up  for  our  perfect 
training  and  fitness,  and 
our  complete  experi- 
ence.     When  we  started  on  this  journey,  we  knew  that 

serious  and  important  one  ;  for  upon  the  effectiveness  of  our  cooker  depended 
not  only  our  comfort,  but  even  our  safety,  which  would  be  seriously  imperilled 
by  the  failure  of  the  cooker  at  any  time  in  the  heart  of  the  great  ice-cap. 

After  some  experiments  with  my  Rochester  lamp,  I  determined  to  utilise  it 
for  the  foundation  of  my  cooker.  The  lamp,  however,  could  not  be  used  with- 
out a  chimney,  and  a  glass  chimney  would  be  entirely  out  of  place  in  the 
rough  work  of  the  ice-cap,  A  metal  chimney  of  some  kind  must  be  devised. 
At  first  I  tried  a  cylinder  of  tin  wired  together,  but  this  did  not  prove  satisfac- 


Upward  Ice-Cap  Journey  439 

we  were  relying  solely  upon  our  own  exertions  and  the 
Almighty.  Whatever  fortune,  ill  or  good,  awaited  us 
in  or  beyond  the  heart  of  the  "Great  Ice"  ;  whatever 
accident  or  mishap  befell,  there  would,  there  could,  be 
no  rescuing  party. 

And  even  if  we  returned  in  safety,  if  the  trust  which 
I  reposed  in  my  Eskimo  friends  was  ill-founded,  I 
might  find  my  house  and  stores  appropriated,  and  our- 
selves left  destitute. 

The  day  set  for  our  departure  into  the  white  desert 
of  the  "  Great  Ice "  arrived  calm  and  clear.  The 
night  before,  Lee,  Henson,  and  myself  had  indulged 
in  a  thorough  bath,  a  clean  shave,  and  a  prize-fighter's 
hair-cut  before  turning  in,  and  now,  after  a  few  hours' 
sleep,  had  risen  to  an  early  breakfast  and  put  on  our 
new  clean  ice-cap  costumes.  These  had  for  the  past 
two  or  three  weeks  been  hanging  out-of-doors  in  the 
low  March  temperature,  to  freeze  out  any  unwelcome 
inhabitants  that  might  have  found  a  lodgment  while 
our  Eskimo  seamstresses  were  makingf  them. 

tory,  as  the  draught  at  the  joint  interfered  with  the  flame,  and  I  had  no  means  of 
making  the  joint  tight.  Finally  a  cylindrical  copper  cup  or  measure  about  six 
inches  deep  was  found,  which,  fortunately,  was  of  just  the  same  diameter  as  the 

The  bottom  was  cut  out  of  this,  and  a  hole  cut  in  the  side  at  the  level  of  the 
wick.  Over  this  latter  was  fitted  one  of  the  small  mica  windows  from  a  double 
Florence  stove.  Through  this,  the  action  of  the  flame  could  be  seen,  and  by 
opening  it  the  lamp  could  be  lighted  without  removing  the  chimney. 

This  arrangement  proving  satisfactory  after  several  tests,  the  next  require- 
ment was  something  in  which  to  melt  snow  and  make  our  tea.  Going  carefully 
through  our  scant  stock  of  tinware,  nothing  was  found  that  seemed  satisfactory, 
the  nearest  approach  to  what  was  wanted  being  some  rectangular  bread  pans. 

The  capacity  of  these  was,  however,  rather  too  limited,  and  they  had  the  fatal 
defect  of  having  the  bottoms  soldered  on. 

The  boiler  for  sledge  use  must  have  the  bottom  and  sides  all  in  one  piece  to 
enable  it  to  withstand  the  severe  usage  to  which  it  is  subjected.  Every  time 
the  lamp  is  lighted,  the  bottom  of  the  boiler  is  subjected  to  the  direct  action  of 
the  flame  for  some  time  before  the  snow  is  melted  sufficiently  to  yield  water  to 
protect  it. 

It  was  evident  that  a  boiler  must  be  made,  but  how  this  was  to  be  done  from 
the  material  at  our  command  was  a  puzzler. 

At  last  while  turning  over  some  sheets  of  tin,  and  studying  how  to  make  a 
boiler  from  them,  the  idea  occurred  to  me  of  making  a  seamless  boiler  by  fold- 
ing one  of  these  sheets  of  tin  at  the  corners.     The  idea  was  immediately  put  to 

440       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

All  my  ammunition  and  valuable  papers  had  been 
deposited  under  the  lodge,  in  such  a  way  as  to  pro- 
tect them  from  fire  and  the  curiosity  of  natives  from 
distant  settlements.  The  remaining  provisions  were 
brought  into  the  house.  Letters  had  been  written 
and  given  to  the  natives  to  deliver  to  the  ship,  in  the 
event  that  the  "  Great  Ice"  should  close  behind  us 
forever,  and  now  the  windows  were  closed,  and  the 
doors  locked  and  nailed.  While  this  was  being  done, 
my  faithful  natives  were  assembling  the  dogs,  and  in 
a  short  time  we  were  moving  up  the  little  valley  on 
our  way  to  the  moraine,  the  shore  of  the  "  Great  Ice," 
leaving  the  house  and  its  contents  in  charge  of  my 
Eskimo  friends.  Besides  Lee,  Henson,  and  myself, 
there  were  my  six  Eskimo  men,  Nooktah,  Kardahsu, 
Annowkah,  Soker,  Nupsah,  and  Akpalisoahho,  with 
sixty  dogs,  and  six  sledges  ;  but  only  the  first  four  of 
the  natives  were  to  go  beyond  the  moraine.  This 
was  on  Monday  morning,  April  i,  1895. 

the  test  and,  proving  feasible,  a  shallow  rectangular  boiler  was  carefully  made, 
and  the  upper  edges  tacked  to  the  inside  of  a  wooden  Maillard's  cocoa-box. 
This  doubled  the  capacity  of  the  boiler,  making  it  hold  sufficient  snow  to  fill 
the  tin  part  with  water  when  melted  down,  and  also  stiffened  and  strengthened 
it.  The  next  requisite  was  a  case  to  protect  lamp  and  boiler,  ensure  the  steady 
burning  of  the  former,  and  prevent  the  escape  of  any  heat.  This  was  found  in 
the  wooden  case  of  one  of  my  flour-tins,  a  strongly  made  box.  The  external 
dimensions  of  the  chocolate-box  forming  the  ring  of  the  boiler  were  just  a  trifle 
smaller  than  the  interior  breadth  and  width  of  this  case,  and  when  the  boiler 
was  put  inside,  a  space  of  ^  inch  was  left  all  around  it.  The  case  was  fitted  with 
a  hinged  cover  on  the  top  end  ;  a  hinged  door  on  the  side,  its  top  about  an  inch 
below  the  bottom  of  the  boiler,  and  a  small  glass  window  in  it  to  permit  inspec- 
tion of  the  lamp  ;  and  the  entire  case  covered  carefully  with  summer  deerskin, 
the  hair  inside. 

The  bottom  of  the  lamp  was  then  cut  off,  the  oil-chamber  fastened  to  a  light 
wooden  frame  sliding  in  and  out  on  the  bottom  of  the  case,  cleats  nailed  on  the 
inside  of  the  box  for  the  boiler  to  rest  on  with  its  bottom  about  ^  inch  above  the 
top  of  the  chimney,  holes  bored  in  the  top  and  bottom  of  the  door  for  draught, 
and  the  affair  was  complete.  Though  heavy  and  uncouth,  as  was  of  necessity 
more  than  one  other  item  of  our  equipment,  this  cooker  served  its  purpose  well, 
and  gave  us  no  trouble  except  that  the  lamp  had  to  be  watched  carefully  or  it 
would  smoke.  This  was  due  more  to  the  poor  quality  of  the  oil — a  St.  John's 
article  which  at  temperatures  of  —30'  F.  became  so  viscid  that  it  could  not  be 
poured — than  to  any  feature  of  the  cooker.  The  boiler,  rude  as  it  was,  lasted, 
to  my  agreeable  surprise,  during  the  entire  trip. 

Upward  Ice-Cap  Journey  44 1 

From  the  moraine,  Tooktoo  and  Lodge  Valleys, 
with  their  nunataks  and  tributary  glaciers,  and  the 
expanse  of  McCormick  Bay  opening  out  into  the 
Sound  beyond,  lay  below  us,  like  a  pictured  map. 
Lee  led  the  caravan,  setting  the  course,  he  not  being 
in  condition  to  handle  his  h'lQ-  sledee  with  the  fre- 
quent  stops  and  starts  inevitable  on  the  steep  up 
grades  of  the  landward  slopes  of  the  ice-cap.  After 
him  came  three  of  the  Eskimos  with  their  sledees, 
then  Matt  with  the  catamaran,  or  tent-sledge,  then 
Nooktah  with   the  Josephine  (my  sledge).      I,   with 


Lee's  sledge,  brought  up  the  rear,  where  I  could  note 
the  behaviour  of  each  team.  On  the  catamaran,  or 
tent-sledge,  were  the  supplies  for  the  return  trip  from 
Independence  Bay,  and  those  for  consumption  at  and 
north  of  Independence  Bay,  together  with  the  tent, 
sleeping-  and  cooking-gear,  a  total  of  about  one  thou- 
sand pounds.  This  sledge  was  drawn  by  a  team  of 
thirteen  picked  dogs. 

On  Lee's  Long  Serpent  were  about  seven  hundred 
and  fifty  pounds  of  dog  food,  drawn  by  ten  dogs,  and 
on  the  other  four  sledgfes  the  remainder  of  the  dog" 

442        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

food,  our  own  supplies  for  the  upward  journey,  the 
cooking-  and  sleeping-gear,  and  supplies  for  the  men 
and  dogs  of  the  supporting  party  up  and  back.  The 
y osephine  sledge,  which  I  should  drive  after  the 
Eskimos  left  us,  was  drawn  by  my  own  team  of  ten 
dogs ;  the  other  Eskimo  sledges  had  nine  dogs  each. 
The  steep  gradient  of  the  ice  from  the  moraine  tried 
the  strength  of  the  dogs  to  the  utmost,  and  called 
forth  energetic  use  of  the  whip  from  their  drivers. 


On  the  second  day's  march,  when  we  arrived  in  the 
vicinity  of  the  cache  igloos,  I  made  another  most  de- 
termined effort  to  recover  the  cache.  Armed  with 
saw-knives,  shovels,  and  light  rods,  the  entire  party 
scattered,  quartering  the  surface  in  every  direction. 
Every  suspicious-looking  sastrugi  and  inequality  of 
the  snow  was  probed,  and  several  pits  four  or  five  feet 
deep  dug,  but  all  without  result,  and,  unwilling  to 
waste  more  time  on  an  evidently  fruitless  search,  I 
gave  the  word  to  go  on  to  Camp  Equinoctial  and 
search  for  the  cache  there.  Thus  ended  the  final  effort 
to  recover  this  valuable  cache,  containing  fourteen 
cases  of   biscuit,    three    cases  of   milk,   one  hundred 

Upward  Ice-Cap  Journey  443 ' 

pounds  of  pea  soup,  and  ten  gallons  of  oil,  all  buried 
forever  in  the  inscrutable  bosom  of  the  "  Great  Ice." 

I  had  more  hopes  of  finding  the  equinoctial  cache, 
as  it  had  been  dug  up  by  Lee,  and  replaced  on  the 
surface  of  the  snow  the  previous  July.  Halting 
when  compass  and  odometer  indicated  that  I  had 
reached  its  position,  I  sent  out  my  Eskimo  scouts  on 
the  little  trailer  sledges,  to  quarter  the  surface  of  the 
snow.  Seated  upon  my  own  sledge,  I  watched  them 
dashing  back  and  forth,  and  in  a  few  minutes  saw  a 
sharp-eyed,  keen-scented  dog  in  one  of  the  teams 
swerve  to  one  side,  and,  followed  by  the  entire  team, 
dash  at  something  invisible  to  me  in  the  snow. 

A  moment  later,  Nooktah  stood  up  and  waved  some- 
thing about  his  head,  then  came  galloping  back,  and 
handed  me  a  piece  of  an  old  bag  which  had  been  tied 
to  the  tip  of  the  pole  marking  the  position  of  the 
cache.  Only  three  inches  of  the  pole  were  now  pro- 
jecting above  the  snow,  and  even  this  could  be  seen 
in  but  one  direction,  owing  to  a  tiny  drift  which  had 
formed  aofainst  the  windward  side.  At  the  end  of  a 
forty-mile  compass  and  odometer  course,  I  had 
stopped  my  sledge  within  a  hundred  yards  of  the 
buried  cache.  This  cache,  though  not  as  large  as 
the  other  one,  containing  only  ten  cases  of  biscuit, 
and  a  case  and  a  half  of  milk,  was  still  very  accepta- 
ble, as  it  enabled  me  to  complete  my  milk  ration,  and 
replace  my  heterogeneous  assortment  of  open  boxes 
of  biscuit,  with  tight-soldered  tins  of  superior  biscuit 
originally  ordered  for  the  Expedition.  During  the 
search  for  the  cache,  Annowkah,  one  of  the  Eskimos, 
weakened,  and  took  the  opportunity  to  decamp  and 
go  back  to  the  lodge  with  his  sledge  and  dogs.  This 
desertion  necessitated  a  new  arrangement  of  the 
loads.  The  marches  of  the  three  following  days,  of 
twenty-two,    twenty-eight,   and    thirty  miles,   respect- 

444      Northward  over  the  ''  Great  Ice  " 

ively,  carried  us  across  the  Whale-Sound-Kane-Basin 
wind-divide  and  well  into  the  snow-shed  of  the  Hum- 
boldt Glacier,  bringing  us,  at  midnight  of  Saturday, 
the  6th,  to  the  vicinity  of  the  pemmican  cache,  one 
hundred  and  twenty-four  miles  from  the  moraine,  and 
six  thousand  five  hundred  feet  above  the  level  of  the 

The  weather  during  the  week  had  been  favourable, 
with  no  severe  winds  and  no  extremely  low  tempera- 


tures,  these  ranging  from  —12°  F.  to  —23°  F.  The 
surface  of  the  ice-cap  had  been  firm  enough  to  sup- 
port men,  sledges,  and  dogs.  We  had  strained  every 
nerve  to  reach  the  site  of  this  cache  before  there 
should  be  a  change  in  the  weather,  and  in  spite  of 
the  heavy  up  grades  and  frequent  interruptions  of 
the  first  three  marches,  we  had  made  the  very  satis= 
factory  average  of  a  trifle  over  twenty-one  miles 
per  day.  Lee  and  myself  each  had  a  frost-bitten  toe, 
and  the  cheeks  and  noses  of  Henson  and  myself  were 

Upward  Ice-Cap  Journey  445 

frozen.  These  mishaps,  however,  were  regarded 
lightly.  Personally  I  was  a  trifle  fatigued,  as  I, 
alone  of  the  party,  had  walked  the  entire  distance, 
the  duty  of  setting  the  course,  which  I  had  done 
after  the  first  two  days,  giving  me  no  opportunity  for 

I  wasted  but  a  few  hours'  sleep  before  commenc- 
ing the  search  for  the  cache,  and  this  was  prosecuted 
for  twenty-four  hours,  the  Eskimos,  on  the  trailer 
sledges,  scouring  the  vicinity  in  every  direction  to  a 
distance  of  live  miles,  while  Lee,    Matt,  and  myself. 


on  foot,  examined  the  immediate  neighbourhood  of 
the  camp.  All  proved  unavailing.  The  prominent 
signal  of  the  previous  year  had  been  broken  off  by 
the  furious  winds,  and  it  and  the  cache  were  buried 
beneath  the  deep  snow.  The  loss  of  this  cache  of 
some  fourteen  hundred  pounds  of  pemmican  was  a 
staoro-erinor  blow  to  me.  While  I  had  all  alono-  recop;- 
nised  the  possibility  of  this  very  contingency,  and 
had  made  up  my  rations  for  the  journey  without  refer- 
ence to  this  pemmican,  yet  at  heart  I  had  felt  as  if 
we  must  find  the  cache,  for  I  well  knew  that  neither 

446       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

walrus  meat  for  the  dogs,  nor  venison  for  ourselves, 
could  fill  the  place  of  pemmican.  Already,  I  could 
see  the  effects  of  the  continuous  hard  work  and  the 
ration  of  frozen  meat  upon  my  dogs.  The  recovery 
of  this  cache  would  have  enabled  me  to  lie  over  here 
two  days,  rest  my  dogs  thoroughly,  fill  them  to  reple- 
tion with  pemmican  and  walrus  meat,  and  then  start 
with  full  sledges  and  my  dogs  fresh  and  full  of  enthu- 
siasm, as  when  we  started  from  the  moraine.  In 
other  words,  it  would  have  brought  my  starting-point 
one  hundred  and  twenty-four  miles  nearer  to  Inde- 


pendence  Bay.  As  it  was,  I  could  not  waste  an  hour 
here,  but  must  push  on,  and  take  every  advantage 
of  the  continuance  of  pleasant  weather. 

From  here  I  sent  my  faithful  Eskimo  allies  back  to 
the  lodge.  Only  I  and  they  can  know  how  brave  and 
loyal  and  faithful  they  were.  For  six  sleeps  and  six 
long  rapid  marches  they  had  followed  me  unquestion- 
ingly  into  the  awful  heart  of  the  sermiksoak,  where 
none  of  their  tribe  had  ever  been  or  dared  to  go 
before.  Never  before,  even  in  their  longest  pursuit  of 
the  polar  bear  across  the  frozen  surface  of  Smith  Sound, 

Upward  Ice-Cap  Journey  447 

had  they  been  out  of  sight  of  the  cHffs  and  mountains  of 
their  savage  coast.  Yet  now,  since  four  days  back, 
the  highest  peaks  of  those  mountains  had  disappeared 
below  the  surface  of  the  "  Great  Ice,"  and  for  four  days 
the  unbroken  steely  horizon  of  the  frozen  desert  had 
circled  round  them  in  a  glittering  ring.  And  now 
they  must  hasten  back  alone  with  feverish  speed, 
before  a  storm  could  obliterate  our  sledge  tracks,  and 
leave  them  lost,  bewildered,  and  bewitched,  at  the 
mercy  of  the  dread  demons  of  the  "  Great  Ice."  One 
of  them  carried  a  letter  to  the  brave  woman  waitino- 
in  the  South,  in  which  was  the  following  paragraph  : 

"  I  shall  push  on  to  Independence  Bay  and  do  all 
that  is  possible  for  man  to  do.  After  that  I  do  not 
know.  Everything  will  depend  upon  circumstances, 
and  in  any  case  a  knowledge  of  my  plans  would  avail 
nothing.  We  have  only  ourselves  and  the  All-Power- 
ful One  to  rely  upon,  and  in  the  event  of  mishap  no 
human  help  can  find  or  reach  us." 

As  the  Eskimos  dwindled  into  invisibility  toward 
the  frozen  line  of  the  southern  horizon,  we  beo^an  our 
march  into  the  glittering  northern  expanse,  three 
of  us,  with  forty-two  dogs.  The  order  of  march  of 
the  little  advance  party,  which  had  now  cut  com- 
pletely loose,  and  from  now  on  must  paddle  its  own 
canoe,  was  as  follows  :  Myself  in  advance  with  the 
"Josephine"  sledge  and  a  team  of  twelve  dogs, 
setting  the  course  by  means  of  the  boat-compass 
lashed  on  top  of  the  load,  which,  as  may  be  inferred, 
had  been  selected  with  reference  to  a  total  exclusion 
of  anything  composed  of  iron  ;  next  Matt,  with  the 
tent-sledge  and  the  "  Chopsie  "  trailer  drawn  by  a  team 
of  sixteen  dogs  ;  and  finally  Lee,  with  the  long  sledge 
and  the  other  trailer  drawn  by  fourteen  dogs. 

It  requires  considerable  experience  to  steer  a  direct 
course  across  this  white  desert,  with  not  a  thing  to 

448        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice  " 

guide  or  fix  the  eye.  It  takes  long  practice  for 
a  white  man  to  drive  a  team  of  ten  or  twelve 
Eskimo  dogs.  And  it  is  something  more  than 
either,  to  force  a  heavily  burdened  dog  team  on 
a  direct  line  into  the  blank  nothingness  of  that  Arctic 
Sahara.  Yet  necessity  knows  no  master,  and, 
driven   by   necessity,   I  did   this   from  now   on  for  a 


distance  of  three  hundred  miles.  The  efficiency  of 
the  teams  was  very  seriously  impaired  by  the  contin- 
uous fiofhtinof  resultinor  from  the  rearrang-ement  of  the 
dogs  ;  fighting  which  no  earthly  power  can  stop  till 
it  has  been  conclusively  decided  which  dog  is  the  king 
of  each  team. 

On  the  third  march,  Lee  was  very  much  under 
the  weather,  and  on  reaching  camp  I  gave  him  some 
medicine  and  sent  him  to  the  tent.  The  care  of 
the  forty  odd  dogs  then  fell  upon  Matt  and  myself, 

Upward  Ice-Cap  Journey  449 

and  to  keep  a  pack  of  forty  ravenous  Eskimo  dogs  in 
order  during  feeding-time  is  something  beyond  the 
power  of  any  two  men.  We  succeeded  in  tying  them 
as  usual  in  groups  of  five  to  eight,  to  stakes  driven  in 
the  snow  about  the  camp,  and  Henson  had  nearly 
completed  chopping  up  the  daily  ration  of  frozen 
walrus  meat,  while  I,  with  whip  in  hand,  tried  to 
keep  the  yelping  brutes  from  breaking  loose.  But 
it  was  impossible  to  be  everywhere  at  once,  and,  while 
busy  quieting  one  group,  another,  with  a  sudden  com- 
bined rush,  and  the  superhuman  strength  which  the 


sight  of  food  inspires  in  a  hungry  Eskimo  dog,  tore 
up  the  stake  to  which  they  were  fastened,  and  dashed 
for  the  pile  of  meat.  There  was  a  simultaneous 
savage  cry  from  every  other  dog,  and  in  an  instant 
every  stake  was  broken  or  pulled  up,  and  a  howling 
avalanche  of  dogs  swept  through  the  camp  and  fell 
upon  the  meat.  Each  group  being  still  fastened 
together  by  their  traces,  anything  about  the  camp  less 
firm  than  primeval  rocks,  such  as  projecting  points  of 
sledges,  odometer,  trailers,  thermometer  support,  and 
so  on,  came  to  sudden  grief. 

VOL.  II. — 29 

450       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Whip  and  voice  were  equally  unheeded,  and  Matt 
and  myself  were  obliged  to  jump  out  from  among  the 
furious  animals,  to  save  our  foot-gear  from  being  torn 
to  pieces  by  their  savage  snaps  at  the  meat  and  each 
other.  There  was  nothing  to  be  done  but  let  them 
finish  the  meat,  regardless  of  whether  each  got  his 
proper  share  or  not.  I  smiled  as  I  thought  of  the 
trouble  that  other  parties  of  two  or  three  men  had 
experienced  in  taking  care  of  a  team  of  eight  or  ten 
dogs,  and  wondered  if  they  knew  anything  about  real 
trouble.      Here,  before  us,  were  forty  savage,  power- 


ful  dogs,  the  flower  of  the  king-dogs  and  trained 
bear-hunters  of  the  tribe,  mad  with  the  struggle  for 
food  and  the  attacks  of  each  other,  and  inextricably 
tangled  and  bound  together  by  their  traces, — Kil- 
kenny cats  multiplied  twenty-fold. 

Then  came  the  straigfhtenincr  out  of  the  snarl.  The 
temperature  was  25°  below  zero,  and  a  strong  wind 
was  sweeping  through  the  camp,  loaded  with  a  sting- 
ing drift  of  snow.  Silently  we  went  to  work,  and  at 
the  end  of  five  hours  had  the  Gordian  knots  untied 
and  every  dog  secured,  except  one.      He,  tangled  up 

Upward  Ice-Cap  Journey 


and  rendered  helpless  by  the  twisting  traces,  had 
been  bitten  by  the  others  till  he  had  gone  mad  with 
rage  and  pain,  and,  with  bloodshot  eyes,  frothing 
mouth,  and  clashing  teeth  bit  at  everything  he  could 
reach,  until  I  was  obliged  to  quiet  him  with  a  bullet. 


After  this  episode  with  the  dogs,  we  kept  on  day 
after  day  across  the  white,  wind-swept  waste,  con- 
stantly ascending,  and  the  snow  surface  gradually 
becoming  less  firm.  While  crossing  the  head  of  the 
Petermann-Fjord  Basin,  we  were  caught  in  an  ahnoah- 
taksoah,  which  went  hurtling  down  the  ice-slopes  toward 
the  land  with  express-train  speed.  This  storm  delayed 
us  for  forty-eight  hours,  and  the  force  of  the  wind  flat- 
tened the  tent  down  upon  us  so  that  it  was  with  the 
utmost  difficulty  that  I  could  extricate  myself  from  it 
and  grope  my  way  to  the  sledges  for  necessary  sup- 

452       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

plies.  This  contraction  of  our  at  best  Hmited  space, 
the  temperatures  of  -25"  F.  to  -30°  F.  in  the  tent,  and 
the  howUng  of  the  poor  dogs  outside  as  the  murder- 
ous wind  penetrated  even  their  thick  coats,  rendered 
our  detention  here  extremely  uncomfortable.  A  sin- 
gle storm  plays  more  havoc  with  dogs,  harnesses,  and 
traces,  than  the  wear  and  tear  of  a  fortnight  of  con- 
tinuous travel.  Two  dogs  used  up  by  this  storm  were 
fed  to  the  others. 

The  gradual  ascent  continued,  and  the  close  of  the 
next  week  found  us  over  seven  thousand  feet  above  sea- 
level.  Temperatures  ranged,  when  there  was  consid- 
erable wind,  from  -25  °  F.  at  noon,  to  -25°  F.  and  -35° 
F.  at  midnight  ;  and  when  calm,  from  -10°  F.  to  -20°  F. 
at  noon,  to  -35°  F.  and  -45°  F.  at  midnight.  On 
these  latter  days  the  weather  seemed  almost  mild,  and 
the  exercise  of  snow-shoeing  and  driving  dogs  at  the 
same  time,  compelled  us  to  strip  to  our  deerskin  shirts 
in  order  to  avoid  perspiration.  The  moment  we 
halted,  the  kooletah  became  essential  to  our  comfort. 
During  the  week,  the  *'  Long  Serpent "  was  abandoned, 
and  the  loads  rearranged.  As  the  dogs  grew  more 
tired,  it  became,  daily,  more  and  more  difficult  for  me 
to  force  my  team  into  the  white  emptiness  ahead. 

Covering  distances  of  from  ten  to  twenty-five  miles 
per  day,  we  reached  an  elevation  of  7865  feet  above 
sea-level,  our  maximum.  To  enable  the  dogs,  which 
were  daily  growing  weaker  and  weaker,  to  cover 
these  distances,  every  expedient  known  to  the  Es- 
kimo was  made  use  of  to  lighten  their  work.  The 
tent-sledge  was  iced  nearly  every  day,  and  my  own 
sledge,  which  could  be  iced  by  turning  it  on  its  side 
without  unloading,  twice  a  day  ;  the  most  careful 
attention  was  paid  to  the  trim  of  the  loads,  the  fit  of 
the  harness,  the  untangling  of  the  traces,  etc.  ;  and 
with  my  own  sledge   the  upstanders    permitted   me 

Upward  Ice-Cap  Journey  453 

to  aid  my  dogs  very  materially.  The  average  eleva- 
tion for  this  week  was  7670  feet,  and  the  effect  of  this 
was  very  perceptible  upon  both  men  and  dogs.  The 
latter  showed  it  by  their  lack  of  strength,  and  their 
rapid  breathing  at  the  least  increase  over  our  usual 
speed  of  about  two  miles  per  hour.  As  for  ourselves, 
while  we  could  walk  without  discomfort  at  a  two-  to 
two-and-a-half-mile-an-hour  pace,  and  continue  it  for 


from  twenty  to  twenty-five  miles,  a  run  of  a  few 
yards  to  overtake  the  sledge  after  stopping  to  tie 
a  kamik  string  or  pick  up  a  mitten,  or  two  or 
three  vigorous  pulls  to  start  the  sledge,  would  take 
our  breath  completely,  and,  in  the  case  of  Matt  and 
Lee,  be  frequently  accompanied  by  bleeding  at  the 
nose.  The  strength  of  all  of  us  was  reduced  fully 
fifty   per  cent,  though  this  was  undoubtedly  largely 

454       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

the  result  of  our  rarely,  if  ever,  eating  our  full  meat 
rations.  Our  meat  was  raw  and  frozen  ;  the  nearest 
approach  we  could  make  to  cooking  it  was  to  warm  it 
up  in  our  tea,  and  we  did  not  seem  to  care  for  it.  Tea 
and  biscuit  appeased  our  hunger  temporarily,  but  did 
not  crive  us  strength. 

Up  to  the  four-hundredth  mile,  we  had  not  wasted  a 
moment's  time  in  repairs  to  our  sledges,  but  almost 
simultaneous    with    our    passing    the    four-hundredth 


mile,  one  of  the  runners  of  the  tent-sledge  broke  short 
off  at  the  forward  upright.  During  this  march,  the 
wind,  which  had  all  this  time  been  blowing  steadily 
from  the  south-east,  fell  calm,  and  the  sasti^ugi,  the 
wind  carvings  on  the  snow,  changed  their  direction. 
I  knew  the  meaning  of  the  change.  We  had  passed 
the  continental  divide,  and  were  sloping  to  the  east 
coast,  the  land  clouds  over  which  we  could  make  out 
far  to  the  north-east.  The  greater  portion  of  a  day 
was  consumed  in  repairing  the  sledge  with  a  runner 

Upward  Ice-Cap  Journey  455 

from  one  of  the  trailers.  With  this  breakage,  the  be- 
ginning of  the  fifth  week,  and  our  entrance  into  the 
fifth  hundred  miles,  began  a  series  of  mishaps.  The 
new  runner  did  duty  for  only  twelve  miles,  when  it 
broke  beyond  possibility  of  repairs,  even  had  I  pos- 
sessed any  spare  material.  The  load  was  removed,  the 
wreck  cut  away,  the  sledge  stiffened  laterally  by  a  pair 
of  ski,  and  the  catamaran  transformed  into  a  three- 
runner  sledge.  Then,  by  making  another  twenty-four- 
hour  day  of  it,  we  covered  twenty-three  and  a  half 
miles,  and  at  the  end  of  the  march,  fed  the  last  walrus 
meat  to   the  dogs,   of  which   I    now  had  seventeen. 


With  these  it  must  now  be  a  case  of  dog  eat  dog,  un- 
til we  found  game.  Under  this  arrangement,  my  dogs 
went  to  the  dogs,  figuratively  and  literally,  very  rap- 
idly, and  in  a  few  days  there  were  but  eleven  left,  and 
we  were  obliged  to  get  into  the  drag-ropes  ourselves, 
and,  in  addition,  begin  the  hateful  work  of  double- 
banking.  It  was  evident  that  some  of  us  must  get  to 
the  land  with  all  speed  and  at  any  sacrifice,  and  let  our 
after  movements  depend  upon  the  success  there.  I 
made  an  observation  to  determine  our  position,  dis- 

456       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

mantled  the  three-runner  sledge,  took  the  unbroken 
sledge  and  the  "  Chopsie  "  trailer,  our  sleeping-  and 
camp-gear  and  about  a  week's  supplies,  and  caching 
everything  else,  hurried  on.  The  down  grade  and  a 
stern  wind  enabled  us  to  cover  twenty-one  miles, 
though  all  of  us  were  completely  used  up  at  its  finish. 
The  next  day  was  a  trying  one,  relieved  only  by  the 
welcome  sight  of  land,  rising  blue  and  serrated  above 
the  blinding  ice-cap  ahead  and  on  our  left.     To  our 


half-blinded  and  untrustworthy  eyes,  it  was  uncer- 
tain at  first  whether  it  was  land  or  mirage.  It  was 
high  time  that  we  sighted  it.  The  rapid  pace  of  the 
previous  day's  march  had  destroyed  what  little  life 
there  was  in  the  dogs,  and  of  the  eleven  poor  brutes 
three  were  scarcely  able  to  walk,  to  say  nothing  of  pull- 
ing ;  the  others  were  not  much  better,  and  we  our- 
selves were  unequal  to  any  violent  or  prolonged 
exertion.  We  camped  on  the  crest  of  the  ice-cap 
looking  down  on  the  land  west  of  Independence  Bay. 

Upward  Ice-Cap  Journey  457 

We  were  now  over  five  hundred  miles  in  a  direct  line 
from  the  lodge,  and  I  had  eleven  dogs,  all  of  them  com- 
pletely exhausted,  and  three  so  nearly  dead  that  they 
were  fit  only  for  dog  food.  If  we  found  musk-oxen 
down  below,  well  and  good.  '  If  we  did  not,  not  a  dog 
in  the  pack,  even  under  the  most  favourable  circum- 
stances and  with  continuous  fine  weather,  would  get 
more  than  a  third  of  the  distance  back  to  the  lodge, 
and  the  remainder  of  the  way  we  must  drag  the  sledges 
ourselves.  Supposing  that  we  were  fortunate  enough 
to  cover  this  third  of  the  distance  in  ten  or  twelve 
days,  I  should  then  have  twenty  days'  rations  with 
which  to  cover  the  remaining  two-thirds  (three  hun- 
dred and  thirty-three  miles).  Nansen,  in  his  crossing 
of  Greenland,  with  fresh  men,  had  taken  forty  days 
to  cover  two  hundred  and  eighty  miles. 

As  soon  as  we  had  camped,  my  programme  was  un- 
folded. After  a  complete  rest  and  good  sleep,  I,  with 
Matt  and  the  "  Chopsie  "  sledge,  three  days'  provisions, 
duplicate  lamp  (for  making  tea),  and  our  rifles,  would 
go  down  to  the  land  and  make  a  thorough  search  for 
musk-oxen.  Lee  was  to  remain  in  camp  to  rest  and 
recuperate,  look  after  the  dogs,  and  make  some  altera- 
tions in  the  tent,  which  was  no  longer  to  be  erected 
on  the  sledge.  During  our  absence,  he  was  to  feed 
the  two  completely  exhausted  dogs  to  the  others.  I 
did  not  dare  to  take  the  dogs  down  to  the  land,  for  I 
knew  that,  if  we  did  not  find  musk-oxen,  they  would 
never  climb  to  the  camp  again,  while,  if  we  did  find  the 
musk-oxen,  we  could  come  back  after  the  dogs,  take 
them  down  to  the  carcasses,  and  fill  them  to  repletion. 



An  Unsuccessful  Search — Camp  Resolution — A  Never-to-be-Forgotten 
Scene — Reach  Land  in  a  Furious  Storm — The  Forlorn  Hope — The 
Northern  Land — Thank  God  !  the  Musk-Oxen— Awakened  Hunger — 
The  Musk-Ox  Hunt — A  Royal  Repast — My  Faithful  Dogs. 



LEAVING  the  tent, 
which  was  forty- 
eigfht  hundred  feet 
above  sea-level,  at  mid- 
night, we  went  straight 
down  for  the  land,  taking 
turns  at  dragging  the 
sledofe.  There  is  one 
peculiarity  about  my  dis- 
covery of  this  land  be- 
yond the  ice-cap  which 
has  always  struck  me  very 
forcibly,  a  peculiarity  which  in  a  way  distinguishes  it 
from  all  other  discoveries  of  new  lands. 

More  than  one  explorer  has  seen  the  summits  of  a 
new  land  rise  from  below  the  sea  horizon,  until  at 
last,  as  he  stepped  upon  the  virgin  shore,  they  towered 
far  above  him.  Many  others  have  crept  along  a  tor- 
tuous coast,  constantly  opening  up  new  bays  and 
headlands  ;  but  never  before  has  an  explorer,  after 
travelling  for  weeks  in  an  unending  day,  thousands 
of  feet  above  the  sea-level,  seen  the  peaks  and  valleys 
of  a  new  land  lying  in  the  yellow  midnight  sunlight 
far  below  him,  and  has  literally  descended  from  the 
sky  upon  his  maiden  prize. 


462       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Cortez,  it  is  true,  looked  down  from  the  mountains 
which  circle  the  great  plain  of  Mexico,  upon  the  glis- 
tening lakes,  and  the  wonderful  city  ;  and  Balboa,  upon 
that  "  peak  in  Darien,"  looked  down  upon  the  smihng 
Pacific,  but  what  an  unimaginable  contrast  here  ! 

For  them  trees  rustled  in  the  warm,  perfumed  breeze, 
and  the  panorama  spread  before  them  glowed  with 
fullest  tropical  opulence. 

For  us  hissed  the  driving  snow,  borne  on  the  freez- 
ing breath  of  the  heart  of  the  "  Great  Ice,"  and  the 
new  land  far  below  was  but  a  barren  heap  of  fragments 
of  earth's  skeleton. 

Yet,  by  contrast  with  the  frozen  desolation  im- 
mediately around  us,  even  those  bare  primeval  bones 
seemed  warm  and  inviting. 

Some  four  miles  from  the  tent,  we  passed  a  se- 
ries of  huge  concentric  crevasses,  ranged  like  the 
benches  in  an  amphitheatre,  from  the  crest  nearly  to 
the  foot  of  one  of  the  ice-slopes.  I  recognised  the 
group  as  one  which  I  had  seen  in  1892. 

Several  miles  beyond  these  and  lower  down,  we 
entered  upon  a  tract,  some  two  or  three  miles  in  width, 
intersected  in  every  direction  by  narrow  crevasses,  and 
dotted  with  peculiar  ice-mounds,  from  two  to  three 
feet  high,  formed  by  the  freezing  of  the  moisture  in 
the  air  exhaled  from  the  crevasses.  These  crevasses, 
covered  with  a  snow  crust,  were  difficult  to  detect, 
and  almost  as  soon  as  we  entered  the  tract,  Matt  went 
into  one  up  to  his  waist.  It  was  his  first  introduction 
to  a  crevasse,  and  it  naturally  gave  him  a  pronounced 
shake-up,  and  bleached  his  dark  face,  though  he  said 
little.  My  turn  came  next ;  then  it  was  one  or  the  other 
or  both  of  us,  with  one  leg  or  both  and  part  of  our 
bodies,  down  in  the  villainous  cracks,  till  we  got  har- 
dened and  made  no  effort  to  detect  or  avoid  them,  but 
walked  straight  ahead,  though  constantly  on  the  qui 

The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap         463 

vive  to  throw  ourselves  forward,  the  moment  we  fek 
the  snow  giving  way  beneath  us. 

Akhough  the  land  here  was  very  similar  in  appear- 
ance to  that  below  the  Independence-Bay  moraine 
(as  seen  in  1892),  the  junction  of  the  ice-cap  and  the 
land  was  very  dissimilar.  In  the  former  it  afforded 
free  and  easy  access  to  the  rocks,  in  the  latter  it  was 
marked  by  a  nearly  continuous,  vertical  wall  of  blue 
ice,  utterly  impracticable  of  ascent  or  descent.    Finally 


we  were  able  to  scramble  down  over  an  incipient  gla- 
cier, picking  our  way  across  crevasses,  and  winding 
among  turquoise  seracs,  till  at  last  we  found  ourselves 
at  the  bottom  of  a  large  pit,  walled  partly  by  the  ice- 
cliffs  and  partly  by  the  rocks,  and  its  floor  intersected 
by  embankments  and  mounds  of  moraine  detritus.  As 
we  stepped  from  the  ice  upon  this,  Matt,  who  had 
wearied  of  the  frightful  monotony  of  the  ice-cap,  ex- 
claimed,"  Rocks  once  more,  thank  God  !  "  Later,  with 
foot-gear  cut  to  pieces  and  feet  bruised  to  agony,  we 

464       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

were  even  more  delighted  to  leave  the  rocks  for  the  sur- 
face of  the  ice. 

On  the  lee  side  of  one  of  these  mounds,  we  drew  up 
the  sledge.  We  had  taken  with  us  only  the  lamp  full 
of  oil,  and  when  Matt  started  to  make  tea,  he  found 
that  most  of  the  oil  had  been  spilled  while  coming 
down  through  the  seracs.  A  spare  pair  of  stockings, 
which  had  been  packed  about  the  lamp  to  keep  it  up- 
right, had  absorbed  considerable  of  the  oil,  and  by  cut- 


ting  one  of  these  in  strips  and  using  it  as  fuel  in  a  very 
small  and  very  carefully  constructed  stone  fireplace, 
Matt  succeeded  in  makingr  a  tinful  of  tea.  We  then 
ate  our  biscuit  and  a  few  mouthfuls  of  meat,  tightened 
the  draw-strings  of  our  kooletahs,  and  stretched  our- 
selves on  the  frozen  and  partly  snow-covered  gravel, 
to  pass  the  hours  of  meridian  sun-glare  in  sleep. 
When  I  again  became  conscious,  heavy  grey  clouds 
were  marshalling  above  the  ice-cap,  the  sun  was  ob- 
scured, and  by  the  time  we  had  eaten  breakfast  and 

The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap         465 

were  ready  to  start,  the  clouds  had  descended  upon 
the  ice-cap  and  the  summits  of  the  land,  hiding  them 
from  view. 

All  day  in  a  drizzling-  snow-storm  we  wandered  over 
and  among  a  mass  of  barren  nunataks,  sentinels  in  the 
picket-line  of  the  land  in  its  eternal  conflict  with  the 
"  Great  Ice  "  ;  climbing  over  the  jagged  rocks,  scram- 
blinof  down  cliffs,  crossino-  oflacier  arms,  following  ice- 
walls,  in  search  of  a  practicable  ascent  or  descent, 
and  unable  in  the  grey  obscurity  to  reach  the  main- 

Evidently  the  guardian  demon  of  this  land  was 
opposed  to  our  examining  it,  or  making  any  havoc  in 
his  musk-ox  herds. 

Tired,  footsore,  and  disappointed,  we  retraced  our 
steps,  and  after  a  twenty-five-mile  tramp,  reached  our 
sledge.  We  had  seen  during  the  day  some  ten  or 
twelve  snow-buntings,  a  wolf  track,  fresh  hare  tracks, 
and  musk-ox  droppings  ;  the  latter,  however,  very  old. 

There  was  to  my  surprise  practically  no  snow  on 
this  land,  except  in  the  ravines  and  places  favourable 
for  the  formation  of  drifts,  and  the  bare,  sharp  rocks 
had  cut  and  ripped  our  kamiks,  and  pounded  our  feet 
till  they  were  bruised  and  swollen.  The  constant 
climbing  up  and  down,  and  stepping  from  rock  to 
rock,  had  overtasked  muscles  which  the  level  travel- 
ling on  the  ice-cap  had  long  left  indolent,  and  our  legs 
and  backs  were  aching  savagely. 

Tea  finished,  we  lost  no  time  in  stretching  ourselves 
for  sleep,  regardless  of  the  snow  beneath  us  or  that 
falling  upon  us.  When  we  awoke,  it  was  still  storm- 
ing, and  we  could  only  climb  empty-handed  back  up 
the  weary  ice-cap  to  the  tent,  considering  ourselves 
fortunate  if  we  did  not  have  to  sleep  a  night  or  two 
without  shelter  on  the  ice-cap,  for  we  could  easily  miss 
the  tent  in  the  thick  weather.      But  the  tract  of  nar- 

466       Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  " 

row  crevasses,  and  the  group  of  big  ones,  enabled  us 
to  retrace  our  route,  and  after  ten  hours'  march  we 
were  back  at  the  tent,  breaking  the  disagreeable  news 
to  Lee.  It  was  a  very  sober,  silent  little  party  gath- 
ered round  the  cooker,  and  it  was  Iouq:  before  I  went 
to  sleep. 

The  next  morninor  after  breakfast  I  brought  the 
matter  up,  and  with  very  little  discussion  it  was 
decided  we  should  stake  everything  on  finding  the 
musk-oxen.  I  fully  explained  to  the  boys  that  we 
were  taking  our  lives  in  our  hands,  and  they  expressed 
themselves  as  perfectly  willing  to  take  the  chances,  I 
never  think  of  that  camp  without  a  thrill  of  admira- 
tion for  the  two  brave,  loyal,  unquestioning  men  with 
me,  who  did  not  hesitate  a  moment.  In  the  midst  of 
the  still  thick  weather  we  started  back  for  our  cache, 
the  ice-cap  hidden  in  the  clouds  and  fog,  everything 
invisible  in  the  grey  shroud. 

There  are  few  things  more  tiresome  physically 
than  the  monotonous  drudgery  of  dragging  hour 
after  hour  at  a  sledge,  and  when  this  has  to  be  done 
in  one  of  those  dense  fogs  of  the  ice-cap,  under  the 
intense  mental  strain  of  trying  to  keep  a  straight 
course  with  absolutely  nothing  on  which  the  eye 
can  rest,  or  toward  which  the  steps  can  be  directed, 
a  powerful  element  of  mental  fatigue  is  added,  which 
exhausts  one  completely.  Twenty-two  miles  of  this 
killing  work,  for  my  dogs  were  utterly  useless  now, 
brought  us  back  to  my  cache,  and  gave  us  a  fore- 
taste of  what  the  homeward  journey  would  be  like 
if  we  found  no  musk-oxen.  Matt  and  myself  were 
thoroughly  used  up,  feet,  legs,  and  eyes,  when  we 
halted.  Lee,  having  had  a  two  or  three  days'  rest, 
was  fresher.  Yet  no  one's  courage  wavered,  and  after 
a  few  hours'  sleep  we  were  ready  to  start  for  the  land 
again,  with  everything  except  one  sledge  and  scant 

The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap         467 

rations  for  ourselves  for  the  return  journey.     These 
were  left  in  the  camp. 

Never  shall  I  forget  that  time  and  scene  ;  three 
exhausted  men  and  nine  starved  does,  standino-  there 
in  the  gaunt,  frozen  desert.  These  and  the  glistening 
snow,  the  steel-blue  sky,  and  the  cold  white  sun. 
Five  hundred  miles  in  an  air-line  across  a  waste  of 
snow  to  the  nearest  human  being,  with  insufficient 
rations  for  even  that  distance,  yet  we  were  still  facing 


the  other  way.  I  think  that,  as  we  started,  each  one 
of  us  felt  an  unspoken  prayer  that  the  constant  peti- 
tions of  the  dear  ones  in  the  far-off  homeland,  where 
birds  were  sino-inor  and  flowers  bloomine,  mio-ht  be 
listened  to,  and  that  the  All-Seeing  Eye  would  watch 
over  us. 

I  felt  then,  as  I  feel  now,  that  in  that  cool,  deliber- 
ate moment  we  took  the  eolden  bowl  of  life  in  our 
hands,  and  that  the  bowl  had  suddenly  grown  very 

468       Northward  over  the  ''  Great  Ice  " 

fragile.  And  I  feel  now,  as  I  felt  then,  that  we  were 
neither  rash  nor  foolhardy  in  so  doing,  but  simply 
followed  the  dictates  of  temperaments  which  could 
not  act  otherwise,  and  which  would  do  the  same  thing 
again  under  the  same  circumstances. 

When  we  reached  what  might  be  called  the  actual 
crest  of  the  ice-cap,  about  fifteen  miles  from  its  edge, 
where  it  begins  to  slope  rapidly  to  the  land,  and  I 
could  make  out  the  familiar   landmarks  far  below,  I 


found  that  we  were  approaching  the  land  on  a  course 
about  five  miles  east  of  the  one  on  which  I  had  de- 
scended to  it  in  1892.  This  difference  of  position  re- 
sulted in  a  higher  elevation,  and  enabled  me  to  look 
over  the  eastern  edge  of  the  Academy-Glacier  basin, 
and  make  out  the  summits  of  the  east-coast  land 
ribbon,  considerably  farther  to  the  south  than  I  had 
seen  them  in  1892.  At  this  time  it  was  entirely  clear 
on  the  ice-cap  and  along  the  inner  edge  of  the  Inde- 

The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap         469 

pendence-Bay  land.  Farther  out,  heavy  cumulus  clouds 
hung  at  a  considerable  elevation  over  the  land. 

Underneath  these,  I  saw,  due  north,  and  distant  ap- 
parently some  seventy-five  miles,  what  had  escaped  ob- 
servation on  my  previous  trip,  owing-  to  the  heavy  land 
•clouds,  a  magnificent  mountain,  massive  in  form  and 
heavily  buttressed,  towering  in  savage  grandeur  far 
above  the  intervening  cliffs  and  ice-caps.  Apparently 
it  was  twice  their  height.  As,  however,  its  shape  was 
constantly  changing  under  the  mirage  effects  of  these 
high  latitudes,  it  is  very  likely  that  its  elevation  was 
•exaggerated  by  the  same  cause.  The  clouds  descend- 
ing soon  hid  it  from  our  view,  and  a  few  hours  later  a 
dull  veil  formed  across  the  sky.  The  clouds  sank  in 
^reat  leaden  masses  upon  the  land,  the  ice-cap  took  on 
a  ghastly  hue,  short,  sharp  gusts  of  wind  came  up 
rapidly  from  behind  us,  and,  hurrying  past,  rushed 
down  the  slopes  of  the  "  Great  Ice"  to  the  land. 

We,  too,  hurried  on  with  all  possible  speed,  in  order 
to  pass  the  landward  slopes  of  bare  blue  ice  before  the 
wind  increased  too  much,  and  reach  the  moraine  before 
it  was  obliterated.  We  reached  and  passed  the  site  of 
my  1892  moraine  camp  just  before  the  storm  broke, 
and  gained  the  shelter  of  the  big  cone  of  detritus 
Avhich,  in  1892,  had  marked  my  point  of  departure  from 
the  ice-cap,  and  had  been  my  far  distantly  visible 
beacon  on  my  return  to  it.  Hurriedly  pitching  the 
tent  behind  it,  we  were  partially  protected  from  the 
hissing  and  howling  Niagara  of  wind  and  snow  which 
poured  over  us.  The  demon  angel  of  the  land  was 
evidently  still  on  the  alert. 

May  15th,  the  storm  which,  for  two  days,  had  held 
us  prisoners  upon  the  moraine  of  the  "  Great  Ice,"  more 
than  four  thousand  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea, 
ceased,  and  in  a  very  short  time  I  had  completed  all 
my  preparations  for  a  trip  down  to  the  land  in  search 

470       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

of  the  musk-oxen  which  must  be  our  salvation.  Matt 
and  ah  the  dogs  were  to  accompany  me  ;  and  I  took 
the  httle  "  Chopsie,"  our  rifles,  four  days'  half-rations 
of  tea,  biscuits,  and  oil,  and  the  last  of  the  walrus 
meat,  a  frozen  lump  a  little  larger  than  a  man's  head, 
which  I  had  been  husbanding  to  get  the  dogs  up  the 
ice-cap  again,  Lee  was  to  remain  at  the  tent  during 
our  absence,  to  give  his  toe  a  chance  to  recover 


The  almost  entire  absence  of  snow  on  this  northern 
country  was  a  surprise  as  well  as  an  annoyance  to  me, 
as  it  threatened  to  interfere  seriously  with  the  portage 
of  the  big  sledge  and  supplies  from  the  ice-cap  to  the 
sea  ice.  By  continuous  reconnaissance  in  advance  of 
the  dogs,  I  found  a  fairly  good  though  circuitous 
route  along   the  snow-drifts  lying   in  the   lee   of  the 

The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap  47 1 

labyrinth  of  glacial  tumuli  and  dykes  through  which 
our  path  led  for  some  miles.  After  passing  these, 
and  ascending  a  gentle  incline,  we  entered  the  main 
thalweg  of  this  region,  which  gave  us  a  nearly  direct 
course  (situated  west  of  the  route  followed  by  Astrup 
and  myself  in  1892,  when  we  intentionally  kept  along 
the  ridge  of  the  land  divide)  toward  the  head  of  the 

This  thalweg,  commencing  at  first  in  an  extensive 
elevated,  shallow  basin,  became  gradually  more  ac- 
centuated, narrower,  and  deeper,  until,  abreast  of 
Musk-Ox  Valley,  where  Astrup  and  myself  had  seen 
and  killed  our  first  cattle,    it  was  a  shallow  canyon. 

Twelve  hours  of  steady,  rapid  marching  brought  us 
to  this  point,  and  here  I  left  Matt  with  the  sledge  and 
dogs,  and  with  my  rifle  went  across  to  the  valley  to 
look  for  game  or  traces  of  it.  So  far  we  had  not  seen 
the  slightest  indication  of  musk-oxen,  though  we  had 
crossed  the  same  places  where,  on  my  previous  visit,  I 
had  seen  their  droppings,  tracks,  and  wool,  on  almost 
every  square  rod  of  ground. 

My  reconnaissance  of  the  valley  also  failed  to  show 
the  least  trace  of  their  presence,  and  I  returned  to  the 
sledge  in  a  mood  the  reverse  of  cheerful. 

Could  it  be  that  the  musk-oxen  of  this  region  were 
migratory,  retreating  southward  along  the  east  coast 
in  the  fall,  and  returning  in  late  spring  or  early  sum- 
mer, and  that  we  were  too  early  for  them  ?  Or  had 
the  sight  and  smell  of  ourselves  and  dogs  and  the 
carcasses  of  their  slain  comra.des,  in  that  awful  visi- 
tation of  three  years  before,  terrified  them  so  that 
they  had  deserted  this  region  completely  ?  These  re- 
flections were  perhaps  accentuated  by  the  fact  that  it 
was  now  late  in  the  day,  and  we  were  exhausted  with 
the  arduous  travelling,  and  weak  and  hungry  from  our 
previous  continuously  scant  diet  of  tea  and  biscuit. 

472       Northward  over  the  ''Great  Ice" 

The  last  unpleasant  sensation  was  partially  ameliorated 
by  a  recourse  to  the  dog-food  meat.  True,  this  was  a 
frozen  mixture  of  walrus  meat,  blubber,  hair,  sand,  and 
various  other  foreign  substances,  but  it  "went"  just 
the  same,  and  the  fact  that  the  meat  was  pronouncedly 
"  high  "  and  the  blubber  more  or  less  rancid  caused  no 
complaint  from  the  parties  most   interested.       Even 


this  unattractive  food  we  could  only  nibble,  for  the 
dogs  needed  it  more  than  we. 

We  then  went  on  down  the  canyon,  which  narrowed 
and  became  more  tortuous,  until  farther  progress  was 
barred  at  the  entrance  to  what  we  called  the  "  Devil's 
Den," — vertical  cliffs  within  arm-stretch  of  each  other, 
the  bottom  of  the  cleft  filled  with  huge  angular  masses, 

The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap         473 

almost  impracticable  for  a  man  alone,  and  utterly  so  for 
a  sledge.  We  were  compelled  to  retreat  nearly  to  where 
I  had  left  the  sledge  to  reconnoitre  Miisk-Ox  Valley ; 
then  climb  the  banks  and  go  across  country.  The  scarc- 
ity of  snow  made  it  useless  to  try  to  keep  the  sledge 
on  it,  and  we  proceeded  in  as  nearly  a  direct  line  as 
the  topography  would  allow  across  rocks,  gravel, 
cobble,  and  boulders. 

A  few  miles  beyond  the  valley,  I  saw  a  fresh  hare 
track,  and  a  few  hundred  yards  beyond  came  upon 
the  hare  itself,  squatting  among  the  rocks  a  few 
paces  distant.  With  the  sight  of  the  beautiful  spot- 
less little  animal,  the  feeling  of  emptiness  in  the 
region  of  my  stomach  increased.  I  called  to  Matt, 
who  was  some  little  distance  back,  to  stop  the  dogs 
and  come  up  with  his  rifle.  He  was  so  affected  by 
the  prospect  of  a  good  supper,  that,  though  usually 
a  good  shot,  his  first  and  second  bullets  missed  the 
mark,  but  at  the  third  the  white  object  collapsed  into 
a  shapeless  mass,  and  on  the  instant  gaunt  hunger 
leapt  upon  us  like  a  starving  wolf  upon  its  prey.  A 
little  pond,  surrounded  by  high  banks  a  short  distance 
away,  offered  the  advantage  of  ice  for  cooking  pur- 
poses, and  here  we  camped,  lit  our  lamp,  and  cooked 
and  ate  the  entire  hare.  It  was  the  first  full  meal  we 
had  had  since  the  Eskimos  left  us  thirty-five  days  ago, 
— the  first  meal  possessing  proper  substance  and  stay- 
ing quality,  to  fit  a  man  for  a  heavy  day's  work. 

While  we  were  enjoying  our  feast,  it  began  snowing, 
and  at  its  conclusion  we  lay  down  as  we  were,  upon 
the  snow-covered  shore  of  the  little  pond,  without  tent 
or  sleeping-bag  or  anything  except  the  clothes  we 
wore,  and,  with  the  snowflakes  falling  thickly  upon  us, 

This  meal  brought  home  to  me  very  forcibly  the 
great  advantage  that  a  party  of  two  or  three  men  has, 

474        Northward  over  the  '*  Great  Ice  " 

in  this  region,  over  a  larger  number.  The  one  hare 
had  suppHed  two  of  us  with  all  that  we  could  possibly 
eat  at  one  meal,  and,  like  the  Eskimo  dog,  we  could 
now,  after  a  good  sleep,  travel  for  a  couple  of  days 
without  meat.  Had  there  been  seven  or  eight  of  us, 
to  share  the  animal,  the  portion  of  each  would  have 
been  so  small  as  to  only  aggravate  hunger,  and  would 
not  have  materially  increased  the  strength  or  travel- 
ling effectiveness  of  anyone. 

The  next  morning  we  started  for  a  valley  between 
Musk-Ox  Valley  and  Navy  Cliff.  I  had  seen  numer- 
ous musk-ox  tracks  here  in  1892,  but  none  of  the 
animals  themselves,  though  as  a  matter  of  fact  I 
had  not  looked  for  them.  At  the  entrance  of  this 
valley,  I  came  upon  a  track,  but  so  indistinct  that  it 
was  quite  possible  that  it  might  have  been  made  the 
previous  fall.  Following  it  a  short  distance,  the  ac- 
companying tracks  of  a  calf  were  discernible,  showing 
at  once  that  the  tracks  were  of  this  season  ;  and  a  little 
farther,  there  were  traces  but  a  few  days  old.  Thank 
God,  the  musk-oxen  were  not  far  distant  ! 

Fastening  our  dogs  securely  to  a  rock,  and  muz- 
zling them  so  they  could  neither  chew  themselves 
loose,  nor  make  a  racket  to  disturb  the  musk-oxen, 
we  passed  rapidly  and  eagerly  down  the  valley,  Win- 
chesters in  hand,  with  eyes  fixed  upon  the  tracks. 
Other  tracks  joined  these,  and  soon  the  feeding-ground 
of  the  animals  the  preceding  day  was  reached,  their 
tracks  and  the  places  where  they  had  dug  away  the 
snow  in  search  of  grass  and  moss  being  covered  lightly 
with  the  frost  precipitation  of  the  previous  night. 
Evidently  there  was  quite  a  herd  of  them,  and  I  was 
as  sure  of  the  animals  now  as  if  I  already  had  them 
lying  at  my  feet. 

A  survey  of  the  valley  with  my  binoculars  failing 
to  locate  the  animals,  we  directed  our  steps  to  an 

The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap  475 

entirely  snow-free  tract  of  rocks  at  the  lower  end 
of  the  valley  near  the  glacier,  where  it  seemed  quite 
likely  they  might  be.  Nothing  was  seen  of  them 
here,  and  we  turned  back  towards  the  feeding-place, 
when  a  brace  of  snowy  ptarmigan  fluttered  up  from 
before  us,  and  then  settled  a  few  yards  away.  Know- 
ing that  the  report  of  our  rifles  would  not  alarm 
the    musk-oxen,    accustomed    as    they   were    to    the 


cracking  of  the  glaciers,  I  told  Matt  to  take  one  and 
I  would  take  the  other,  and  a  moment  later  ptar- 
migan stew  became  one  of  the  assured  items  on  our 
menu.  Surely  we  were  in  a  land  of  plenty,  with  hare, 
ptarmigan,  and,  in  the  near  future,  musk-ox,  at  our 

Reachinor  the  feedinor-arounds  agrain,  we  did  what 
we   should    have    done    at    first    (though    we   would 

476       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

then  have  missed  the  ptarmigan),  circled  the  valley 
till  we  found  tracks  leading  out  of  the  labyrinth 
and  up  the  slopes  of  the  surrounding  mountains. 
These  tracks  showed  that  the  herd  numbered  some 
fifteen  or  twenty,  including  several  small  calves. 
Rapidly  following  these,  my  eyes  were  at  last  glad- 
dened by  the  sight  of  a  group  of  black  spots,  on  a 
little  terrace  just  below  the  crest  of  the  mountains. 
Seen  through  the  glass,  some  of  the  animals  were  ly- 
ing down.  The  herd  was  evidently  beginning  its 
midday  siesta.  Climbing  the  slope  to  the  leeward  of 
the  oxen,  we  reached  the  edge  of  the  terrace  com- 
pletely out  of  breath,  and  lay  down  behind  a  big 
boulder  to  regain  it  and  watch  their  movements. 
The  herd  was  almost  two  hundred  yards  distant,  and 
numbered  twenty-two.  The  cows  and  calves  were  all 
lying  down  not  far  from  us,  while  an  old  bull  prome- 
naded slowly  near  them,  A  short  distance  away,  two 
other  bulls  were  lying  down  on  a  snow-bank,  but  soon 
got  up  and  began  what  seemed  to  me  like  a  friendly 
butting-match,  though  it  may  have  been  a  thoroughly 
dead-in-earnest  contest  for  the  affections  of  some  fair 
cow  in  the  herd.  Certain  it  is,  it  lacked  that  run-at- 
full-tilt,  and  strike-fire-when-stopped  element,  that  one 
is  apt  to  associate  with  the  combats  of  the  bull,  the 
goat,  and  the  sheep,  when  stung  by  Cupid's  shafts. 
It  reminded  me  more  of  the  calm  and  harmless  con- 
tests of  Eskimo  swains  for  the  favours  of  a  dusky 

We  were  trembling  too  much  with  excitement,  and 
our  eyes  were  too  weak  from  the  incessant  blinding 
glare  of  the  ice-cap,  for  us  to  think  of  shooting  at  that 
distance.  We  must  rush  on  them.  Would  they  run 
or  stand  their  ground  ?     We  should  soon  know. 

I  wonder  if  a  single  one  of  my  readers  really  knows 
what  hunorer  is.      I  do  not  mean  the  hungfer  which  has 

The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap  477 

reached  within  a  few  gasps  of  death.  I  fancy  that  the 
pain  has  passed  at  that  stage  ;  and  I  imagine,  too, 
that  one  who  has  had  that  experience  does  not  talk 
of  it  vohmtarily.  The  hunger  that  I  do  mean  is  that 
which  has  gone  to  the  utmost  hmit  consistent  with 
the  full  retention  of  all  the  faculties,  mental  and 


That  meal  of  fresh,  hot,  luscious  meat  from  the 
hare,  the  first  adequate  meal  in  nearly  six  hundred 
miles  of  daily  snow-shoeing,  in  nearly  six  weeks  of 
arduous  work  in  the  rarefied  air  and  low  temperatures 
of  the  "  Great  Ice,"  had  been  to  us  like  the  taste  of 
freshly  spilled  blood  to  the  long-tamed  tiger ;  and 
had  wakened  in  us  every  one  of  the  merciless  hunger 
pangs  which,  during  those  previous  six  weeks,  had 
gradually  been  dulled  into  insensibility.      Now  as  we 

47^       Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  " 

lay  there,  looking  at  the  big  black  animals  before  us, 
we  had  none  of  the  sportsman's  sensations  in  the 
presence  of  big  game.  They  were  not  game  for  us, 
but  meat !  and  every  nerve  and  fibre  in  our  gaunt 
bodies  was  vibrating  with  a  savage  lust  for  that  meat, 
— meat  that  should  be  soft  and  warm,  meat  into  which 
our  teeth  could  sink  and  tear  and  rend,  meat  that 
would  not  blister  lips  and  tongue  with  its  frost,  nor 
ring  like  rock  against  our  teeth. 

Panting  and  quivering  with  excitement,  we  lay  for 
a  few  moments  longer,  then:  "  Do  you  think  they 
will  come  for  us,  sir?"  said  Matt. — "God  knows,  I 
hope  so,  boy,  for  then  we  are  sure  of  some  of  them. 
Are  you  ready?" — "  Yes,  sir." — "Come  on,  then."  One 
of  us  one  side  of  the  big  boulder,  the  other  the  other, 
and  we  dashed  across  the  rocks  and  snow  straight 
towards  them. 

There  was  a  snort  and  a  stamp  of  the  hoof  from 
the  big  bull  guarding  the  herd,  and  the  next  instant 
every  animal  was  facing  us  ;  the  next,  they  were  in 
close  line  with  lowered  heads  and  horns.  I  could 
have  yelled  for  joy  if  I  had  had  the  breath  to  spare, 
for  I  knew  now  we  were  sure  of  some  of  them. 

Many  of  us  have  read  one  of  these  thrilling 
stories  of  travellers  in  the  Russian  forests,  chased  by 
hungry  wolves,  and  have  had  our  feelings  wrought 
up  to  the  highest  pitch  of  sympathy  for  the  poor  dev- 
ils in  their  efforts  to  escape.  But  did  any  of  us  ever 
stop  to  think  of  the  sensations  of  those  other  poor 
devils,  the  starving  wolves  ?  I  know  now  what  their 
feelings  are,  and  my  sympathies  are  with  the  wolves. 

We  were  within  less  than  fifty  yards  of  the  herd, 
when  the  big  bull  with  a  quick  motion  lowered  his 
horns  still  more.  Instinct,  Providence,  call  it  what 
you  will,  told  me  it  was  the  signal  for  the  herd  to 
charge.     Without  slackening  my  pace,   I   pulled  my 

The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap  479 

Winchester  to  my  shoulder,  and  sent  a  bullet  at  the 
back  of  his  neck,  over  the  white,  impervious  shield  of 
the  great  horns.  Heart,  and  soul,  and  brain,  and 
eyes,  went  with  that  singing  bullet,  for  I  knew  that 
it  meant  our  lives.  I  felt  we  were  hungry  enough, 
and  wolfish  enough,  that,  had  the  bull  been  alone,  we 
could  have  sprung  upon  him  bare-handed,  and  torn 
the  life-blood  from  his  throat.      But  as^ainst  the  entire 


herd  we  would  have  been  powerless  ;  once  the  black 
avalanche  had  gained  momentum,  we  would  have  been 
crushed  by  it  like  the  crunching  snow  crystals  under 
our  feet. 

As  the  bull  sank  upon  his  haunches,  the  herd  wav- 
ered. A  cow  half  turned,  and  as  Matt's  rifle  cracked, 
fell  with  a  bullet  back  of  her  fore  shoulder.  Without 
raising  my  rifle  above  my  hips,  another  one  dropped. 

480       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Then  another,  for  Matt ;  then  the  herd  broke,  and 
we  hurried  in  pursuit. 

A  wounded  cow  wheeled,  and,  with  lowered  head, 
was  about  to  charge  me  ;  again  Matt's  rifle  cracked 
and  she  feh.  As  I  rushed  past  her  he  shouted,  "  My 
last  cartridge  ! " 

A  short  distance  beyond,  the  remainder  of  the  herd 
faced  about  again,  and  I  put  a  bullet  into  the  breast 
of  another  bull,  but  though  the  blood  crimsoned  his 


chest  and  legs,  it  did  not  stop  him,  and  the  herd  broke 
again  and  disappeared  over  a  sharp  ridge.  I  had 
neither  wind  nor  strength  to  follow.  Suddenly  the 
back  of  one  of  the  animals  running  behind  the  ridge 
appeared  for  an  instant.  I  whirled  and  fired.  I  did 
not  see  my  sights,  I  scarcely  think  I  saw  my  rifle,  but 
felt  my  aim  as  I  would  with  harpoon  or  stone,  yet  I 
heard  the  thud  of  the  bullet,  and  saw  the  fatal  crim- 
son stain  spring  out  behind  the  fore  shoulder  as  the 

The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap  ^Si 

animal  disappeared,  then  sank  down  on  the  snow  used 
up.  But  I  knew  that  he  too  was  mine.  I  can  scarcely 
realise  as  I  write  these  lines,  what  absolute  animals 
hunger  makes  of  men,  and  yet  I  can  say  truthfully, 
never  have  I  tasted  more  delicious  food  than  was  that 
tender,  raw,  warm  meat — a  mouthful  here  and  a  mouth- 
ful there,  cut  from  the  animal  as  I  skinned  it.  I  ate 
till  I  dared  eat  no  more,  although  still  unsatisfied. 

Then  Matt  went  back  to  bring  up  the  dogs  and 
sledee,  while  I  continued  the  work  of  removing^  the 
skins  from  the  dead  animals.  With  Matt's  return, 
came  the  supremest  luxury  of  all  !  That  was  to  toss 
big  lumps  of  the  rich,  steaming  meat  to  the  faithful 
shadows  which  we  called  dogs,  till  they,  too,  could  eat 
no  more,   and  lay  gorged  and  quiet  upon  the  rocks. 

The  removal  of  the  shaggy  black  pelts  of  the  musk- 
oxen  was  neither  an  easy  nor  a  speedy  job  ;  and  by  the 
time  the  work  was  done  it  was  midnip-ht,  the  sun  low 
over  the  mountains  in  the  north,  and  a  biting  wind 
whistling  about  our  airy  location. 

We  were  glad  to  drag  the  skins  to  a  central  place, 
construct  a  wind-guard  with  the  assistance  of  the 
sledge,  a  few  stones,  and  a  couple  of  the  skins,  and 
make  a  bed  of  the  others  on  the  lee  side  of  it.  A  lit- 
tle stone  shelter  was  constructed  for  our  cooking-lamp, 
and  then,  stretched  upon  our  royally  luxurious  couch, 
thick,  soft,  and  warm,  we  were,  for  the  first  time,  able  to 
spare  the  time  to  make  ourselves  some  tea,  and  cook 
some  of  the  delicious  musk-ox  meat.  Then,  with  the 
savage,  sombre  northern  land  lying  like  a  map  below 
us,  the  barren  rocks,  mottled  here  and  there  with 
eternal  snow-drifts,  the  summits  of  the  distant  mount- 
ains disappearing  in  a  mist  of  driving  snow,  and  the 
bitine  breath  of  the  "  Great  Ice  "  following  even  here, 
and  driftingf  the  fine  snow  over  and  about  us,  we 
slept  as  tired  children  sleep. 



THE    LAND    BEYOND    THE    ICE-CAP    {Continued). 

An  Exhausting  and  Unsuccessful  Chase — The  1892  Cairn  Revisited — 
Pushing  on — Disappearance  of  the  Snow — Frightful  Travelling — De- 
struction OF  Last  Sledge — The  End  of  our  Rope— Compelled  to  Turn 
back^Disappearance  of  the  Musk-Oxen — The  Struggle  back  to  the 
Ick-Cap— MusK-Ox  Skins  for  Sledge — Preparations  for  the  Return. 

'^y^^Jxi.^^.^^o^.^  J^r^^^^  ^j^C^ 


THE    LAND    BEYOND    THE    ICE-CAP    {Continued). 


UR  slumbers  were 
undisturbed  ex- 
cept by  "Sambo," 
a  little  coal-black  musk- 
calf.  His  mother  was 
the  last  cow  killed  by 
Matt,  and  he  the  smallest 
of  calves.  After  we  had 
skinned  the  cow,  the  little 
fellow  persisted  in  placing 
himself  between  my  legs, 
and,  in  this  position,  ac- 
companied us  to  the  sledge,  and  after  the  camp  was 
made,  seemed  to  want  to  come  to  bed  with  us.  I 
curled  him  up  and  covered  him  with  a  corner  of  the 
skin,  once  or  twice,  but  this  did  not  seem  to  suit. 
Though  I  pitied  the  little  fellow,  and  was  considera- 
bly annoyed  by  his  performances,  I  could  not  help 
laughing  at  them.  He  persisted  in  nibbling  at  my 
hair,  licking  my  nose,  and  pawing  my  face  with  his 
hoofs,  which,  though  small,  were  by  no  means  soft. 
Though  he  was  undoubtedly  hungry,  I  could  not  de- 
tect either  the  hunger-note  or  that  of  fear  in  any  of 
his  four  or  five  distinct  baby-cries. 

By  the  middle  of  the  following  forenoon,  we  had  our 


486       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

dogs  fed  again  and  muzzled,  and,  with  rifles  slung 
across  our  backs,  were  climbing  up  from  the  camp  on 
the  trail  of  the  animals.  From  the  direction  they  had 
taken  in  their  flight,  I  felt  sure  their  objective  point 
was  the  valley  in  which  I  had  killed  my  musk-oxen  three 
years  before,  and  expected  to  come  upon  them  there 
during  their  noon  rest,  and  bag  the  remainder  of  the 
herd.  Their  tracks  led  to  the  very  summit  of  the 
mountains,  and  then  along  the  crest  of  a  long  hog- 


back  formed  by  a  narrow  projecting  dyke,  which  on 
one  side  formed  a  vertical  wall  from  ten  to  one  hundred 
feet  in  height.  Aloncj  this  narrow  ridofe,the  animals  had 
made  a  trail  no  wider  than  a  man  would  make,  and, 
arrived  at  the  end  of  it,  had  gone  down  the  wall 
where  it  was  lowest  and  down  the  steep  talus  of  loose 
fragments,  apparently  at  full  speed,  in  places  evi- 
dently sliding  upon  their  haunches.  They  had  en- 
tered the  valley,  but  had  not  stopped,  and,  emerging 

The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap         487 

from  it,  turned  in  the  direction  of  our  first  night's 
camp  on  the  Httle  pond.  Before  reaching  this,  they 
had  become  quieted  down,  and  were  feeding  when 
one  of  the  bulls  came  upon  the  camp,  and  the  scent 
of  it  started  them  off  ao-ain. 

Twice  after  this,  our  tracks  turned  them  like  an 
invisible  fence,  but  at  last  they  had  bolted  across 
the  trail,  and  again,  in  single  file,  and  evidently  at 
full  speed,  had  taken  to  the  interminable  and  most 
villainous  slope  of  angular  fragments  and  blocks  of 
all  sizes,  leading  to  the  top  of  a  high  mountain  spur. 


From  the  top  of  this,  they  had  descended  into  the 
valley  west  of  it,  and  making  a  long  circuit,  had 
again  become  reassured  and,  after  feeding  for  a 
while,  some  of  them  had  slept.  Then,  as  if  actuated 
by  Satan  himself,  they  had  made  for  the  steepest 
mountain-side  in  the  vicinity,  climbed  it  to  the  crumb- 
ling ledge  at  the  top,  frequently  only  a  foot  or  two 
wide  (we  were  often  obliged  to  use  hands  as  well 
as  feet  in  following  them),  and,  travelling  some- 
times on  this,  and  sometimes  along  sharply  inclined 
drifts  of  indurated  snow,  where  we  were  obliged  to  cut 

488       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

steps  to  keep  from  sliding  into  the  valley  below,  had  at 
last  taken  a  bee-line  for  the  valley  where  we  first 
found  their  tracks. 

We  had  now  been  following  the  trail  of  these 
animals  for  some  twenty  hours,  and  for  a  distance 
of  not  less  than  thirty  miles,  over  a  country  the 
roughness  of  which  no  one  who  has  not  seen  it  can 
imagine.  During  this  time,  we  had  each  eaten  one 
biscuit,  and  we  were  now  completely  fagged  out. 
The  return  of  the  animals  to  their  former  haunt,  indi- 
cated that  they  were  not  too  badly  frightened,  and 
having  the  two  small  calves  with  them,  they  could 
not,  after  the  outrageous  run  they  had  already  en- 
gaged in,  go  much  farther  without  a  long  rest,  so  we 
could  undoubtedly  overtake  them  the  next  day. 
Anyway  there  was  no  more  tramp  left  in  us,  and  in 
climbing  to  our  mountain  ranch  we  were  obliged, 
more  than  once,  to  stop  and  rest.  While  we  were 
waiting  for  our  stew  to  cook,  Matt  spied  some  black 
spots  away  at  the  lower  end  of  the  valley  below  us, 
and  the  glasses  showed  our  game  just  emerged  from 
a  narrow  pass  leading  round  an  angle  of  the  glacier- 
bounding  cliffs.  They  were  walking  leisurely,  and 
with  the  glasses  I  could  make  out  that  there  were  two 
bulls,  five  cows,  three  yearlings,  or  perhaps  two-year- 
olds,  and  two  calves. 

Glad  as  I  was  to  see  them  again,  my  chagrin  at  our 
useless  tramp  may  be  imagined.  We  had  completely 
exhausted  ourselves,  destroyed  our  foot-gear,  and 
wasted  a  day,  and  the  animals  were  still  wearing  their 
skins  ;  when,  if  we  had  remained  at  the  camp  and 
kept  a  good  lookout,  we  would  now  have  had  them 
skinned  and  cut  up. 

After  promenading  for  a  time  along  the  edge  of  the 
little  lake,  and  once  making  a  move  as  if  to  come  in 
our  direction,  the  cows  and  calves  lay  down  on  a  big 

The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap         489 

drift  under  a  bluff  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  valley. 
I  felt  sure  they  were  ours  now,  and  that  after  two  or 
three  hours'  rest  and  sleep  we  would  gather  them  in 
without  difficulty.  When  we  woke  they  had  gone, 
but  we  went  down  to  where  they  had  slept,  and  fol- 
lowing their  tracks  from  there,  were  led  directly  back 
up  the  mountain  slopes  just  east  of  our  camp.  They 
had  travelled  along  leisurely,  feeding  here  and  there 
to  within  half  a  mile  of  our  camp,  when  our  scent,  or 


the  music  of  the  dogs,  had  startled  them,  and  they 
had  made  off  in  Indian  file  over  the  mountains. 
When  we  had  followed  their  trail  some  miles  farther, 
it  began  snowing  heavily,  and,  losing  the  trail,  we  re- 
turned to  the  ranch.  The  sledee  and  skins  were  now 
converted  into  a  tupik,  or  tent,  and  we  crawled  in,  to 
forget  the  storm  and  our  weariness  in  sleep.  The 
next  day  I  sent  Matt  with  the  sledge,  dogs,  and  ten 
quarters  of  the  beef  back  to  the   moraine  after  the 

490        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

rest  of  our  material  and  Lee,  who  by  this  time  I 
knew  would  be  somewhat  nervous  about  us.  The 
beef  was  for  dog-  food  on  our  return  journey,  and  was 
to  be  cached  at  the  moraine. 

I  gave  Matt  instructions  to  examine  Musk-Ox  Val- 
ley, en  route  to  the  moraine,  and  gather  in  the  oxen 
if  he  found  them  there.  During  his  absence,  which 
would  cover  three  or  four  days,  I  would  keep  a  look- 
out for  such  of  the  animals  as  might  escape  him,  and 
would  also  reconnoitre  for  a  practicable  route  for  the 
big  sledge  from  here  on.  After  he  had  gone,  I  slung 
my  rifle  over  my  shoulder,  and  started  in  the  oppo- 
site direction.  Descending  to  the  valley,  I  crossed 
it,  and  examined  the  pass  from  which  the  musk-oxen 
had  emerged,  to  see  if  it  offered  a  practicable  route, 
then  climbed  the  acclivity,  and  along  the  summit  of 
the  mountains  to  the  1892  cairn  on  Navy  Cliff. 
From  this  I  took  the  copies  of  the  New  York  82111 
and  Harper  s  Weekly  which  I  had  deposited  there, 
the  papers  being  still  in  good  state  of  preservation 
in  spite  of  a  three  years'  Arctic  experience.  The 
musk-oxen  had  used  the  cairn  as  a  shelter  from 
the  wind,  as  shown  by  the  abundance  of  excreta  on 
the  lee  side. 

Turning  away  from  it,  I  saw  a  hare  browsing  on 
the  bleak  wind-swept  summit.  He  fell  an  easy  prey 
to  my  rifle,  and  I  then  descended  to  examine  another 
section  of  country  for  a  practicable  "  route  to  the 
sea."  Several  hours  of  reconnaissance,  though  not 
resulting  as  favourably  as  I  could  have  wished,  left 
me  so  fatigued  that  I  turned  back  to  the  camp.  The 
last  of  our  biscuit  and  milk  had  been  consumed  that 
morning  before  Matt  left,  and  my  supplies  consisted 
of  about  three  ounces  of  tea,  with  musk-ox  meat  ad 

The  tea  straight,  without  biscuit,  was  not  particu- 

The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap  491 

larly  palatable,  the  broth  from  the  meat  being  prefer- 
able, even  though  unsalted.  Boiled  musk-ox  meat, 
therefore,  and  the  broth  from  it,  formed  my  diet  till 
Lee  and  Matt  joined  me,  which  they  did  about  noon 
of  the  fourth  day.  The  little  sledge  had  broken 
down  beyond  repair,  less  than  three  miles  from  the 
camp,  and  Matt  had  been  obliged  to  leave  it  where 
it  was  and  cache  all  the  meat. 

He  had  found  where  the  musk-oxen  had  slept  in 
Musk-Ox  Valley  the  previous  night,  but  saw  nothing 


of  them.  Some  two  or  three  miles  beyond  the  val- 
ley, while  following  our  sledge  tracks  back  to  the 
moraine,  they  had  crossed  ahead  of  him,  going  at  full 
speed,  and  the  dogs,  in  spite  of  his  efforts,  had  fol- 
lowed in  their  chase  for  a  mile  or  more  before  he 
could  check  them.  This  was  disappointing  news,  for 
I  felt  the  animals  would  not  soon  recover  from  this 
fright.  The  boys  had  had  a  difficult  time  coming 
down  from  the  moraine,  the  rocks  having  cut  two  pair 
of    ski    to    pieces    under    the   Josephine   sledge,   and 

492       Northward  over  the  '*  Great  Ice" 

torn  off  two  or  three  pieces  of  the  ivory  shoes.  We 
had  now  only  one  pair  of  ski  left.  I  was  reluctant 
to  send  these  to  destruction  after  the  others,  and  de- 
termined to  see  if  w^e  could  not  get  along  by  protect- 
ing the  ivory  shoes  of  the  Josephine  with  long  strips 
of  musk-ox  hide,  and  dragging  the  twelve  quarters  of 
beef  which  we  were  to  take  with  us  lashed  up  in  the 
bull's  hide. 

By  the  time  we  had  descended  to  the  valley  the 
strips  of  musk-ox  hide  and  several  pieces  of  ivory  had 
been  torn  off  by  the  rocks,  and  there  was  no  alterna- 
tive but  t(»  make  a  sledge  from  the  pair  of  ski,  and  put 
the  Josepiiine  on  it.  The  tent  was  pitched,  and 
Matt  began  at  once  on  the  sledge,  while  Lee  and  my- 
self, with  the  dogs,  went  back  after  the  skin  of  meat. 
This  we  dragged  about  five  miles  beyond  the  tent, 
and  then  the  skin  being  worn  out  and  torn  to  pieces 
by  the  rocks,  we  threw  the  meat  down  the  precipitous 
walls  of  a  canon  debouching  upon  a  little  lake  lying 
in  the  path  which  the  sledge  must  take.  Here  it  could 
be  easily  reached  by  sledge  from  the  lake.  We  then 
returned  to  the  tent. 

On  snow  or  patches  of  cemented  gravel,  this  novel 
sledge  dragged  with  comparative  ease,  but  over  rocks 
of  any  size  it  was  constantly  catching,  when  the  dogs 
would  stop  and  the  load  must  be  lifted  off  the  rocks 
before  they  would  pull  again.  This  had  to  be  repeated 
every  ten  or  twenty  feet.  If  my  dogs  had  recovered 
from  their  terrible  ice-cap  hunger,  it  would  have  been 
much  easier  for  all  concerned  to  have  transported  the 
meat  as  I  did  in  1892,  panier  fashion  across  the  dogs' 
backs,  but  under  the  circumstances  this  was  impracti- 
cable. Matt  finished  the  sledge  before  turning  in,  and 
the  next  morning,  after  the  tent  was  struck,  I  started 
on  ahead,  leaving  the  boys  to  lash  up  and  follow. 

Just  as  they  were  about  to  start,  one  of  the   dogs 

The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap  493 

slipped  his  harness  and  went  back  up  to  the  ranch, 
where  he  had  to  be  followed  and  brought  back.  Con- 
sequently it  was  some  hours  before  they  joined  me. 
This  march  brought  us  to  the  little  lake,  into  a  tribu- 
tary canon  of  which  we  had  thrown  the  meat  the  day 
before.  Our  route  was  a  circuitous  one,  a  constant 
succession  of  up-hill  and  down-hill,  with  very  little 
snow,  and  what  there  was,  interspersed  with  angular 


Stones  and  boulders,  to  avoid  which  compelled  utmost 
watchfulness  and  constant  lifting  and  pushing. 

Arrived  at  the  lake,  the  ski  sledge  was  taken  from 
under  the  Josephine,  and  with  this  Lee  and  Matt 
went  up  the  canon  after  the  meat,  while  I  crossed  the 
lake  and  climbed  the  mountain-slope  to  the  rolling  pla- 
teau above,  in  search  of  a  practicable  route  for  the  next 
day's  advance.  After  getting  the  meat,  the  boys  were 
to  bring  it  and  the  Josephine  with  its  load  across  the 
lake,  get  their  supper,  and  turn  in  without  waiting  for 

494        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

my  return.  The  snow  on  the  plateau,  though  more 
continuous  and  evenly  distributed,  was  very  shallow, 
the  smallest  rocks  projecting  through  it.  After  lo- 
cating, partly  per  pedem,  partly  with  the  glasses,  a 
practicable,  though  at  its  beginning  a  very  steep,  road 
for  the  morrow's  advance,  I  descended  to  the  lake,  ate 
my  supper  of  musk-ox  stew  and  tea,  stretched  myself 
beside  the  boys  at  the  edge  of  the  lake,  and  was  soon 
asleep.  We  did  not  pitch  the  tent  here,  the  sheltered 
location  and  southern  exposure  making  the  camp  very 
comfortable  without  it.  The  next  morninsf  we  started 
half  of  our  load  and  took  it  some  three  miles  up  the 
slope  to  the  plateau.  Then  the  boys  went  back  after 
the  remainder.  After  getting  everything  up  to  the 
plateau,  we  could  then  take  it  all  at  one  load,  and  with 
the  rosiest  anticipations  we  pushed  on  for  the  head  of 
the  snow-filled  ravine,  trending  down  towards  the 
head  of  the  bay,  confident  that  the  end  of  the  march 
would  see  us  camped  on  the  ice-foot.  After  descend- 
ing it  a  few  miles,  it  began  to  narrow  in  an  ominous 
manner  that  I  distrusted,  and  after  going  down  a 
particularly  steep  descent,  I  halted  the  sledge  and 
went  ahead  to  reconnoitre,  I  found  that  the  ra- 
vine in  a  short  distance  became  impracticable  for  a 
sledge,  and  finally  ended  several  hundred  feet  up 
the  face  of  a  vertical  cliff.  I  could  also  see  that  the 
Academy  Glacier  had  advanced  much  farther  into  the 
bay  than  when  I  was  here  before. 

I  followed  the  cliff  for  some  distance,  then  returned 
to  the  sledge,  and  sent  Matt  out  to  take  up  the  search 
where  I  had  stopped,  and  see  if  he  could  find  any 
practicable  place  for  a  descent. 

During  his  absence,  Lee  and  I  double-banked  our 
load  back  up  the  ravine  to  a  point  suitable  for  a 
start  in  a  new  direction,  and  camped.  Several  hours 
later.  Matt    returned,  wearily  dragging    himself    into 


The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap  495 

camp,  footsore  and  ahnost  exhausted,  as  I  had  been, 
with  the  incessant  cHmbing,  scrambhng,  and  jumping 
over  the  rocks,  and  reported  no  success.  It  remained 
for  us  now  to  examine  the  reeion  to  the  west  of  us, 
and  the  next  morning  we  retraced  our  steps  to  the 
plateau,  and,  leaving  the  dogs  and  sledge  securely 
fastened,  all  three  of  us  started  out  upon  a  re- 


The  result  of  the  combined  tramp  was  to  show  the 
existence  of  a  glacier  west  of  the  land  we  had  been 
traversing,  projecting  till  it  joined  the  Academy  Gla- 
cier ;  to  show  us  that  in  order  to  reach  the  bay  ice 
we  must  back  everything  for  some  distance  over  the 
rocks,  then  down  the  precipitous  shore  (we  were 
some  three  thousand  feet  above  sea-level),  across  the 
glacier's  lateral  canon,  and  over  two  or  three  miles  of 

496        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

the  roughest  and  most  shattered  portion  of  the  gla- 
cier surface.  Lee,  whose  rest  at  the  moraine,  while 
Matt  and  I  had  been  chasing  the  musk-oxen,  had  ren- 
dered him  rather  the  freshest  of  the  three,  was  reduced 
by  this  scout  to  the  same  state  of  exhaustion  as  our- 
selves. During  the  descent  of  the  ravine  our  oil  tin 
had  been  punctured  by  the  rocks  and  much  of  the 
contents  had  escaped,  leaving  us  only  a  few  pints  of 


The  close  of  this  day  compelled  me,  bitterly  as  I 
disliked  it,  to  look  the  question  of  our  turning  back 
squarely  in  the  face.  To  whatever  causes  it  might  be 
due, — whether  to  our  work  the  last  week  on  the  ice-cap, 
combined  with  the  elevation  and  inadequate  rations, 
or  to  the  sudden  chanofe  from  the  rarefied  air  of  that 
region,  with  the  change  of  diet  and  the  excessive  and 
unremitted  exercise  of  travellino-  over  this  frightful 
hash  of  mountains,  cliffs,  and  ravines, — the  fact  was 

The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap  497 

unevadable  that  we  were  at  a  very  low  ebb  of  strength. 
We  had  that  feehng  of  lassitude,  lack  of  energy,  and 
heaviness  of  limbs  which  one  experiences  at  home  at 
the  beginning  of  spring,  or  during  sudden  sultry 
waves  in  summer,  and  we  had  scarcely  a  third  of  our 
usual  strength.  The  transportation  of  our  load  down 
the  bluffs  and  across  the  glacier  to  the  bay  ice  was  a 
work  which,  if  not  impossible,  would  certainly  have 
taken  the  last  remnant  of  our  force.     While  we  owed 


it  to  ourselves  as  men  and  Americans  to  take  every 
possible  chance,  I  did  not  think  we  were  justified  in 
taking  a  course  which  presented  no  chance,  but  simply 
a  certainty,  and  that  one  not  agreeable  to  contemplate. 
Though  from  the  time  that  I  had  found  my  provi- 
sions and  my  essentials  of  Arctic  sledge-work  buried 
beyond  recovery  in  the  snow  of  the  ice-cap,  I  had 
recognised  this  very  thing  as  a  possibility,  if  not  pro- 
bability,  and  had  tried  to  prepare  myself  for  it ;  yet 

VOL.  II. — 32. 

498        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

deep  down  I  had  felt  all  along  that  our  patience  and 
persistence  must  in  the  end  win,  and  I  could  not  thus 
abruptly  resign  completely  the  object  upon  which  I 
had  for  years  centred  my  efforts.  It  might  be  that 
we  could  obtain  more  musk-oxen,  and,  thus  secured 
on  the  vital  question  of  food  for  ourselves  and  dogs, 
could  afford  a  complete  rest  of  a  week  or  ten  days 
and  then  make  another  attempt. 

In  1892  my  route  from  the  moraine  to  Navy  Cliff 
had  been  selected  with  a  view  to  giving  me  as  good 
an  outlook  as  possible,  and  I  had  travelled  intention- 
ally along  the  crest  of  the  mountains  which  bound 
the  Academy  Glacier  on  the  west.  Now  my  chief 
object  was  to  get  the  sledges  to  the  sea  by  the  easiest 
practicable  route,  and  this  meant  following  the  valleys 
of  the  streams,  where  the  greatest  amount  of  snow 
was  to  be  found,  and  the  grade  certain  to  be  more 
regular  and  gradual.  For  this  reason,  during  our 
work  upon  the  Independence-Bay  land,  hunting  the 
musk-ox,  and  transporting  the  sledges  and  equipment 
to  a  point  about  ten  miles  north  of  Navy  Cliff,  we 
saw  only  the  slopes  and  the  valleys  which  formed  our 
road.  Now  when  the  unpleasant  fact  was  forced  upon 
me  that  our  efforts  had  probably  been  futile,  and 
that  it  would  be  folly  to  proceed  farther,  I  ascended 
with  some  difficulty  to  the  nearest  eminence,  to  see  if 
I  could  make  out  anything  more  in  regard  to  the  feat- 
ures of  the  region. 

Where  I  stood,  and  from  there  east  and  north-east 
out  through  the  bay,  the  sun  was  shining  brightly  on 
the  unbroken  expanse,  and  from  my  more  advanced 
position  I  could  see  several  miles  of  the  south  shore 
of  the  bay,  a  land  of  precipitous  black  cliffs  trending 
eastward  from  the  cape  which  confined  Academy 
Glacier  on  the  east.  Westward,  north-westward,  and 
northward,  heavy  clouds  were  rolling  across  the  sum- 

The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap  499 

mits  of  the  land  from  the  westward,  hiding  its  features. 
The  shore  bluffs  reached  away  first  north,  and  then 
north-east,  interrupted  by  the  two  probable  inlets 
which  I  saw  in  1892,  until  they  vanished  in  the  dis- 

The  face  of  the  Academy  Glacier  was  advanced 
considerably  beyond  its  position  in  1892  ;  the  surface 
of  the  bay  was  smooth,  except  for  the  sastrtigi,  caused 


by  the  violent  winds  which  undoubtedly  rush  down 
from  the  ice-cap  and  out  of  this  bay,  as  they  do  out  of 
Whale  Sound  ;  and  there  were  but  two  or  three  bergs 
in  the  bay  away  from  the  immediate  face  of  the  gla- 
cier. A  large  tidal  crack  ran  northward  from  the 
cape  east  of  the  Academy  Glacier. 

The  next  morning,  leaving  the  Josephine  sledge, 
we  continued  to  retrace  our  tracks  and  travelled  some 
ten  or  twelve  miles,  when  the  sledge,  which  had  erad- 
ually  been  going  to  pieces,  broke  down  completely. 
The  first  part  of  this  march  as  far  as  the  lake  was 
comparatively  easy,  in  fact  the  descent  of  the  bluffs 

500        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

surrounding  the  lake  too  easy,  for,  in  spite  of  the  drag- 
chain  on  one  runner  and  a  stone  lashed  to  the  other, 
the  dogs  and  ourselves  pulling  back  on  the  sledge,  it 
had  a  narrow  escape  from  getting  away  from  us  and 
being  dashed  to  pieces  on  the  rocks.  The  next  morn- 
ing, Lee  started  for  the  ranch  camp  with  the  dogs  to 
feed  them  from  the  remains  of  the  musk-oxen  there  ; 
Matt  went  after  the  pieces  of  the  CJiopsie  sledge  to 
use  in  patching  the  one  we  had  ;  and  I  took  my  rifle 
and  glasses  and  started  to  make  a  wide  circuit  in 
search  of  musk-ox  tracks.  After  several  hours  I  joined 
Lee  at  the  ranch  camp  without  having  seen  a  track 
more  recent  than  the  ones  made  before  Matt  went  to 
the  moraine. 

It  was  evident  we  could  not  afford  to  remain  here. 

If  the  musk-oxen  had  not  left  the  valley  entirely, 
they  were  undoubtedly  up  nearer  the  moraine,  and 
we  would  come  across  them  on  our  way  there.  On 
leaving  the  ranch,  we  took  two  of  the  musk-ox  skins 
with  us,  and  went  to  the  cache  of  meat  which  Matt 
had  been  compelled  to  abandon  by  the  breaking  of 
the  CJiopsie  sledge. 

The  sun  for  the  last  day  or  two  had  been  warm 
enough  to  partially  thaw  this  meat,  and  we  cut  the 
bones  out,  laced  the  clear  meat  up  in  the  skins,  and 
then  dragged  this  across  country  to  the  ravine  above 
the  Devil's  Den,  in  the  line  of  march  between  our 
camp  and  the  moraine.  Then  we  returned  to  the 
tent,  where  the  sledge  was  nearly  completed.  It  was  a 
sorry-looking  affair,  pieced  and  patched  in  every  part, 
but  it  was  the  best  that  could  be  done  with  the  mate- 
rial at  hand,  and  we  cared  not  for  looks  if  it  would 
only  see  us  to  the  moraine. 

The  next  morning  early,  we  resumed  the  march. 
The  change  in  the  few  days  since  we  first  came  over 
the  ground  was  almost  incredible.      It  seemed  as  if  the 

The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap  501 

arch-fiend  himself  had  made  it  his  special  business  to 
remove  what  little  snow  there  had  been  at  first.  Then 
we  had  been  able,  with  care,  to  keep  the  sledge  upon 
snow  for  distances  of  one  or  two  hundred  yards  at  a 
time.  Now  it  would  drag  for  half  a  mile  or  more 
upon  the  bare  rocks  without  touching  snow.  No 
wood  that  ever  grew  could  stand  this  usage  long, 
and  the  sledge  began  to  break  up  before  we  reached 
the  bundle  of  meat. 


It  was  impossible  to  add  this  to  the  load  in  the  con- 
dition of  the  sledge,  and  the  dogs  could  not  pull  the 
sledge  with  the  skin  in  tow,  so  there  was  nothing 
left  but  to  double-bank.  After  going  ahead  a  few 
miles  with  the  sledge,  and  then  going  back  and  bring- 
ing up  the  meat,  I  decided  to  push  on  with  the  sledge 
until  it  went  to  pieces,  or  we  found  fresh  tracks  of 
musk-oxen,  when  one  could  return  with  the  dogs  to 
bring  up  the  meat,  while  the  others  were  backing  the 

502        Northward  over  the  *' Great  Ice" 

things  from  the  wreck  to  the  moraine,  or  hunting 
the  musk-oxen,  as  the  case  might  be.  A  sharp  look- 
out was  kept  as  we  went  along  for  fresh  traces  of 
these  animals,  but  no  signs  of  them  were  discovered. 
Not  one  had  recrossed  the  sledge-trail  since  they  had 
crossed  it  to  the  westward  with  the  dogs  yelping  at 
their  heels.  As  a  partial  recompense  for  this  dis- 
appointment, our  sledge  endured  beyond  our  bright- 
est expectations,  and  though  the  runners  were  rapidly 


diminishing  in  size  as  they  left  splinter  after  splinter 
on  the  rocks,  and  the  cross-bars  were  all  broken,  the 
sledge  in  some  wonderful  way  still  held  together  and 
did  not  collapse  entirely  until  we  were  within  a  few 
miles  of  the  moraine. 

We  camped  beside  the  wreck,  and  in  the  morning 
Matt  with  the  dogs  went  back  to  bring  up  the  meat, 
while  Lee  and  I,  with  the  tent,  cookinof-eear,  and  a 
few  other  thmgs   to   make   up   two  light  back-loads. 

The  Land  beyond  the  Ice-Cap  503 

went  on  to  the  foot  of  the  moraine.  During  the  day 
we  got  everything  else  up,  part  of  the  work  being 
done  in  the  face  of  a  gale  which  swept  down  from  the 
ice-cap  and  filled  all  the  adjacent  valleys  with  a  blind- 
ing, cutting  drift. 

Matt  returned  late,  himself  and  dogs  very  tired 
with  the  day's  work.  This  struggle  back  across  the 
land  to  the  foot  of  the  "  Great  Ice  "  had  been  a  severe 
one.  The  work  was  the  hardest  we  had  done  yet, 
and  the  hope  which  had  constantly  buoyed  us  up 
during  the  advance  had  been  replaced  by  a  general 
relaxation,  but  our  scanty  supplies  did  not  allow  us  to 
waste  a  moment.  The  next  day  the  pair  of  ski  left 
at  the  moraine  for  that  purpose  was  converted  into 
a  small  light  sledge;  the  tent,  cooker,  and  our  clothes 
put  in  as  thorough  repair  as  possible,  hand-  and  foot- 
gear dried ;  all  sleeping-gear,  and  nearly  all  extra  hand- 
and  foot-gear,  with  everything  that  could  possibly  be 
spared,  thrown  away  in  preparation  for  the  return 
ice-cap  trip. 







Good  Progress  at  First — Eight  Thousand  Feet  above  the  Sea — A 
Killing  Pace — Lee  under  the  Weather — Dogs  Going  to  Pieces — The 
Outlook  not  Pleasant— Gaining  every  Possible  Yard — Number  of  Dogs 
Constantly  Decreasing — Fog  and  the  Pathfinder — Last  of  our  Meat 
— Land  at  Last — One  Dog  and  No  Food  Remaining — Down  the  Rocks 
to  the  Lodge — Poor  Panikpah — The  Never-to-be-Forgotten  Luxuries, 
Food  and  Rest — My  Noble  Dogs. 







*  I 

\  Kfef 

-  s.ljjiaii. 




Aneroids,  etc. 





T  six  A.M.,  June   ist, 

we    left  our  camp 

at  the  foot  of  the 

moraine  with  the  skin  of 

meat  in  tow   of  the  new 

sledge,  and  taking-  a  dia- 

gonal  course  up  the  steep 

/    moraine  slope,  began  our 

homeward  march. 

Up  the  steep  landward 
base  of  the  ice-cap  we 
zicfzagged,  scaling  the  re- 
lentless  blue  slope  in  the  teeth  of  the  wind  and  drift  till 
the  even  snow-covered  surface  beyond  was  reached, 
when  the  meat  was  transferred  to  the  sledge,  and  we 
shaped  our  course  for  Camp  Resolution.  Here  we 
slept  for  some  five  hours,  making  our  tea  over  the 
fire  kindled  with  the  wooden  case  of  the  cooker,  which 
had  been  thrown  away  at  this  camp,  and  then  went 
on  to  Camp  Josephine,  The  march  between  these 
two  camps  was  made  in  just  such  thick  weather  as  it 
had  been  the  first  time,  and  I  had  no  expectation  of 
being  able  to  find  the  cache  that  day  ;  but  thought 
the  best  we  could  do  would  be  to  travel  the  required 
distance  as  indicated  by  the  odometer,  then  camp  and 


5o8        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

wait  for  it  to  clear.  Fortune  favoured  us,  however,  as 
it  had  done  occasionally  before  in  minor  ways,  though 
cruel  to  us  in  the  one  grand  thing  that  would  have 
covered  all  the  rest,  and  at  the  end  of  twenty  miles 
the  clouds  and  fog  dispersed  enough  for  me  to  discern 
the  cache  with  my  binoculars,  and  we  were  soon  be- 
side it.  We  felt  here  that  we  were  at  the  beginning 
of  our  homeward  voyage,  well  out  on  the   deep  sea 


(our  elevation  six  thousand  feet),  with  a  clear  course 
before  us. 

I  had  nine  dogs  and  fourteen  days'  rations  for  them  ; 
thirty  days'  half-rations  of  tea,  biscuit,  and  oil,  and  sev- 
enteen days'  rations  of  frozen  venison,  for  ourselves. 
More  or  less  of  the  latter,  however,  I  expected  to  give 
to  the  dogs  after  their  rations  of  musk-ox  meat  were 
expended.  Two  methods  were  open  to  us  :  one  was 
to  eat  our  own  meat  rations  and  have  to  drag  our  load 
ourselves  for  the  last  half  of  the  return  journey  ;  the 

R.eturn  Ice-Cap  Journey  509 

other,  to  live  on  our  biscuit  ration,  scant  as  it  was, 
reserving  the  meat  for  the  dogs,  to  prolong  their 
effectiveness  as  far  as  possible,  and  thus  be  compelled  to 
drag  our  sledges  only  the  last  quarter  of  the  return 
journey.  I  considered  the  latter  method  the  better, 
and  was  confident  it  would  result  in  a  distinct  gain 
of  speed. 

If  we  were  so  fortunate  as  to  escape  storms,  a  single 
one  of  which  would  annihilate  my  team  in  its  present 


condition,  and  did  not  encounter  any  deep  soft  snow, 
our  prospects  for  getting  back  I  considered  good. 
During  our  stay  at  this  camp,  the  weather  cleared,  and 
our  start  was  made  under  auspicious  circumstances. 
The  principal  incidents  of  our  fortunate  and  rapid 
return  may  be  gathered  from  my  daily  notes. 

"  June  jd. — A  clear  day  with  little  wind  ;  recent 
snow  makes  going  a  trifle  heavy,  but  dogs  pull  well 
and  we  cover  twenty-five  and  a  quarter  miles.     The 

5IO       Northward  over  the  "  Great  Ice  " 

march  from  the  land  to  Camp  Resolution  was  made 
in  the  daytime,  with  the  sun  in  front  instead  of  behind 
us,  but  we  are  now  travelling  in  the  proper  way — that 
is,  during  the  hours  when  the  sun  is  traversing  the 
semicircle  behind  us.  As  we  are  going  south-west 
true,  these  hours  are  from  nine  p.m.  to  nine  a.m. 

"  Jiinejdto^tJi. — Still  clear  and  the  wind  not  heavy. 
The  going  heavier  than  yesterday,  but  by  extra  exer- 
tions we  make  a  fair  march.  We  must  gain  every 
mile  we  possibly  can  while  the  dogs  last. 

"  yune  4th  and ^tk. — Cloudy,  with  strong  and  biting 
head-winds  and  heavy  drift.  The  wind  is  nevertheless 
doing  us  a  service  in  sweeping  up  the  newly  fallen 
snow,  and  giving  us  an  easier  travelling  surface.  We 
are  all  having  trouble  with  our  feet  and  legs  :  the  former 
almost  as  tender  as  a  boil,  the  result  of  the  bruising 
given  them  by  the  rocks  ;  the  latter  stiff  and  aching  in 
joints  and  muscles.  We  travel  with  the  grace  and 
debonair  of  cripples.  This  march  brings  us  onto  the 
wind-divide  and  debatable  land  of  sastrtigi  pointing 
both  to  the  east  and  north-west  coasts  ;  the  winds 
which  rush  down  from  the  interior,  turning  either  into 
the  Independence-Bay  or  the  Sherard-Osborne- Fjord 
basins,  or  even  blowing  across  from  one  to  the  other 
as  the  atmospheric  balance  may  determine. 

"  yzine  ^th  and  6tJi. — Yesterday's  wind  seems  to 
have  been  only  a  local  squall,  and  to-day  we  are 
beyond  its  effects,  and  the  new  snow  is  looser  and 
deeper  than  ever.  At  the  end  of  three  and  a  half 
miles  Lee  is  completely  used  up,  aching  all  over,  and 
scarcely  able  to  drag  one  foot  after  the  other,  and  he 
thinks  he  can  advance  no  longer.  By  giving  him  qui- 
nine, anti-kamnia,  and  brandy,  a  line  from  the  sledge 
to  support  himself  by,  and  stopping  twice  to  brace  him 
up  with  hot  tea,  peptonoids,  and  brandy,  he  manages 
to  worry  through  the  march.      It  has  been  a  hard  day 

Return  Ice-Cap  Journey  511 

for  men  and  dogs.  The  pace  is  telling  on  us  all,  but 
it  cannot  be  helped.  We  cannot  loiter  while  the 
weather  permits  us  to  march,  and  we  have  the  clogs 
with  us. 

"  June  6th  and  yth. — The  heavy  going  and  the 
extra  labour  of  assisting  Lee  was  more  of  a  strain  upon 
the  dogs  yesterday  than  I  had  thought,  and  to-day 
they  are  much  exhausted.  Two  of  them  give  out 
entirely.      This,   and  a  dense  frost-fog  whose  minute 


crystals  make  the  surface  as  gritty  as  so  much  sand, 
cut  our  day's  advance  down  to  seventeen  and  a  half 
miles.  The  remainino-  seven  doo^s  were  Qriven  the 
usual  meat  ration,  in  addition  to  the  bodies  of  their 
used-up  comrades.      Lee  is  still  feeling  very  unwell. 

''  y^ine  yt/i  and  StJi. — At  this  camp  everything  was 
transferred  to  the  smaller  sledgfe,  which  is  the  easier 
running  as  well  as  the  lighter  of  the  two,  and  the 
larger  one  abandoned.     We  must  take  the  chances 

512       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

of  the  one  sledge  making  the  remaining  four  hundred 
miles  without  breaking.  A  continuance  of  the  fine 
weather,  but  Lee  is  worse,  and  the  frost  precipitation 
covering  the  surface  is  dragging  the  life  out  of  the 
does.  Icine  the  runners  seems  to  have  no  effect 
in  makingf  the  sledee  run  easier  on  this.  But  twelve 
and  a  half  hours'  plodding  enables  us  to  cover  twenty 


"  Jime  8 til  and  gtJi. — At  the  end  of  four  miles  Lee 
gives  out  entirely  and  we  are  obliged  to  camp.  The 
pace  and  our  altitude  are  telling  upon  him  and  the 
dogs,  and  matters  are  beginning  to  look  very  serious 
for  him  and  for  us.  With  exhausted  dogs,  a  sick  com- 
rade, and  the  lodge  nearly  four  hundred  miles  away,  the 
prospect  is  not  entirely  pleasant.  If  a  short  rest  and  a 
course  of  stimulants  do  not  put  him  in  travelling  con- 
dition, we  shall  be  in  a  disagreeable  position. 

Return  Ice-Cap  Journey  5^3 

"  Jtine  gth  ajid  lotli. — Took  advantage  of  our 
enforced  delay  to  take  an  observation.  Have  been 
giving  Lee  treble  allowance  of  milk,  with  pepton- 
oids,  and  brandy  every  few  hours,  and  this  with  the 
fifteen  hours'  rest  has  been  so  beneficial  that  he  has 
been  able  to  cover  twenty  miles  with  us  to-day.  The 
weather  was  very  thick  during  the  entire  march,  and 
we  were  able  to  advance  only  by  lashing  my  ski 
too-ether  as  a  narrow  sledge  with  the  boat  compass 

on  them,  and  pushing  this  ahead  of  the  one  setting 
the  course. 

"  June  loth  and  i itli. — Another  dog  falls  exhausted 
to-day.      This  leaves  us  six. 

"  June  1 1  til  and  12  th. — Another  dog  gives  out 
to-day,  and  the  remaining  five  are  so  discouraged 
that  we  drag  the  sledge  the  last  five  miles  of  the 
march  ourselves,  the  dogs  barely  able  to  follow  in 
our  tracks.      Evidently  the  day  when  we  will  have  to 

SH       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

do  all  the  pulling  is  not  far  away.  Our  distance  from 
the  lodge  now  is  six  miles  less  than  the  distance 
travelled  by  Nansen  in  forty  days.  We  have  nine- 
teen days'  half-rations  of  biscuit,  tea,  and  milk. 

"  Jtiiie  I2th  and  ijth. — The  warmth  of  the  sun 
now  at  midday  is  such  that  we  are  compelled  to  bury 
the  sledofe  runners  in   the  snow   when  we  come  into 


camp  to  prevent  the  icing  from  being  loosened.  My 
eyes,  which  have  been  useless  since  taking  the  observ- 
ation two  days  ago,  are  now  enough  better  so  that  I 
can  take  my  regular  turn  at  setting  the  course.  This 
has  been  the  last  march  for  another  one  of  our  dogs, 
leaving  us  four.  Encouraging  circumstances  are,  that 
we  now  have  a  slight  but  perceptible  down  grade  in 
our  favour,  and  that  to-night  we  are  a  little  more  than 
half-way  on  our  return. 

Return  Ice-Cap  Journey  515 

"  June  i^tk  and  i ^th. — A  violent  snow-squall  with 
heavy  drift  dead  against  us  delayed  us  for  several 
hours  at  the  commencement  of  this  march. 

'' Jiine  i^th  and  i6th. — A  warm  day,  the  effect  of 
the  sun  upon  the  sledge-runners  being,  after  a  time, 
sufficient  to  raise  their  temperature  to  the  vicinity  of 
the  freezing  point,  and  loosen  the  icing.  The  in- 
creased friction  and  consequent  tax  upon  the  dogs 
used   up   another  one  of  them^     Yet  we  made    the 


same  distance  as  during  the  preceding  four  marches, 
i.  e.,  between  twenty  and  twenty-one  miles.  This  is 
our  limit  ;  a  single  mile  over  this  causes  a  strain  to 
which  it  is  not  advisable  to  subject  either  ourselves 
or  the  doo-s.  The  last  of  our  doe  food  consumed  to- 

""  Jtme  lytk  and  i8th. — The  violent  squalls,  accom- 
panied by  heavy  drift,  which,  arising  from  four  a.m. 
to  six  A.M.,  have  cut  our  last  two  marches  short  by  an 

5i6       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

hour  or  two,  have  had  the  effect  of  hardenine  the 
snow,  and  in  this  march  we  ran  the  score  up  to 
twenty-one  and  one-hah  miles. 

"  June  1 8th  and  igth. — -To  offset  our  march  of 
yesterday,  we  made  to-day  but  ten  and  one-half  miles. 
It  was  snowing  when  we  started,  and  about  an  inch 
of  new  snow  made  the  sledge,  as  is  always  the  case, 
drag  very  heavily.  At  the  end  of  ten  and  one-half 
miles  it  had  ceased  snowing,  but  the  wind  was  blow- 


ing  so  hard  against  us  that  we  were  compelled  to 
halt.  The  delay  annoyed  me  less  than  it  would 
otherwise  have  done,  had  I  not  known  that  a  few 
hours  of  this  wind  would,  by  compacting  the  snow, 
improve  the  travelling  a  hundred  per  cent. 

"  J7ine  zotJi  and  21st. — The  last  of  the  venison 
went  to  the  dogs  to-night.      We  have  two  left. 

"  June  2 1st  and  2 2d. — The  last  but  one  of  our 
dogs    gave     out    to-day  ;    but    the    last    three    good 

Return  Ice-Cap  Journey  517 

marches  have  put  us  so  near  home  that  we  can  con- 
sider ourselves  certain  to  see  the  lodge  again  in  spite 
of  weather  or  condition  of  snow. 

"  JiLne  22d  and  2jd. — The  labour  of  dragging  our 
sledge  through  another  fall  of  new  snow,  in  the  face 
of  a  heavy  drift  and  wind,  showed  us  that  we  have 
overrated  our  strength,  and  that  to  make  any  pro- 
gress with  even  our  now  light  load  we  must  have  en- 
tirely favourable  conditions.  Camped  at  the  end  of 
two  miles  to  wait  for  calm  weather.  We  are  now  on 
the  Whale-Sound-Kane-Basin  "  divide,"  and  a  few 
miles  west  of  our  upward  route.  I  shall  keep  on  our 
course,  however,  till  we  make  the  land." 

Leaving  this  camp  on  the  cessation  of  the  wind, 
after  about  three  hours'  marching,  we  saw  the  sum- 
mits of  the  land,  and  soon  after  could  recognise 
various  features.  The  course  was  changed  to  the 
southward  to  bring  us  down  onto  the  Bowdoin-Bay- 
Inglefield-Gulf  peninsula,  and  at  the  end  of  seventeen 
and  one-half  miles,  having  reached  a  position  from 
which  I  could  find  my  way  down  in  any  weather,  we 
made  our  last  camp  on  the  ice-cap  some  twenty  miles 
from  the  moraine.  We  had  four  biscuits  remainino; 
for  supper  and  breakfast.  Our  one  dog  was  obliged 
to  get  what  comfort  he  could  out  of  a  pair  of  seal- 
skin boots  and  several  yards  of  rawhide  line.  Our 
stay  at  this  camp  was  limited  to  a  few  hours,  when 
we  were  again  on  the  move,  and  kept  on  without  in- 
terruption till  we  reached  the  moraine,  upon  which 
Matt  and  myself  stepped  at  1:30  p.m. 

Lee  was  some  distance  behind,  travelling  very 
slowly,  but  insisting  on  our  not  waiting  for  him.  I 
had  no  doubts  as  to  his  being  able  eventually  to 
reach  the  lodee,  and  we  mio^ht  as  well  eo  down  and 
get  the  stove  in  commission  and  something  on  it. 
Weak  and  tired  as  we  were  on  reaching  the  moraine, 

5i8       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

we  experienced  a  still  further  drop  in  our  physical 
barometer  on  passing  down  onto  the  land.  As  we 
entered  the  valley  above  Baby  Lake  I  began  to  feel 
some  nervousness  as  to  how  I  should  find  the  lodge 
and  its  contents,  if,  indeed,  I  should  find  them  at  all, 
and  I  was  considerably  relieved,  as  we  descended  the 
slope  back  of  the  house,  to  see  the  observatory  sup- 
ports still  in  place,  then  the  roof  of  Nooktah's  house, 
and  finally  the  lodge  itself,  all  apparently  intact.  No 
sign  of  life  was  perceptible,  but  this  I  accounted  for 
by  supposing  Nooktah  and  his  family  to  be  sleeping 
through  the  heat  of  the  day.  Coming  close  to  the 
lodge,  it  was  evident  the  place  had  been  deserted  for 
some  time  ;  but  the  doors  and  their  fastenings  were 
undisturbed,  and  we  found,  on  breaking  in,  that 
everything  was  just  as  we  left  it.  Our  first  work  was 
to  get  the  stove  in  commission,  and  make  some  mush 
and  coffee.  Before  this  was  effected  Lee  reached 
the  lodge. 

So  much  for  the  bald  facts  from  the  pages  of  my 
diary.      Let  me  review  the  journey  briefiy  : 

Somewhat  recuperated  by  the  liberal  rations  of 
musk-ox  meat,  men  and  dogs  fortunately  started  on 
the  return  journey  in  fairly  good  condition,  and  were 
thus  enabled  to  make  the  ascent  of  nearly  eight  thou- 
sand feet  to  the  crest  of  the  "  Great  Ice."  For  the 
first  one  hundred  and  fifty  miles  everything  went  well, 
the  dogs  being  in  fair  condition ;  then  the  pace,  the 
ascent,  and  the  altitude  began  to  tell  upon  them,  and 
we  were  obliged  to  assist  them  at  the  drag-ropes. 
The  musk-ox  meat  seemed  to  give  them  no  stamina. 

After  this  the  dogs  gradually  went  to  pieces,  some- 
times dropping  in  their  tracks  during  the  march,  when 
a  short  halt  would  be  made  to  despatch  the  poor  brute 
and  feed  him  to  the  others  ;  sometimes  struggling  into 
camp  to  lie  down  and  never  rise  again. 

Return  Ice-Cap  Journey  519 

When  their  food  was  s^one  we  orave  them  our  ven- 
ison,  and  so  kept  them  along  as  best  we  could,  but  at 
last  there  was  no  more  to  give  them.  Then  it  was 
"  dog  eat  dog,"  and  finally, — well,  dog  meat  does  not 
taste  badly,  in  fact  it  has  little  or  no  taste,  but  it  is 
frightfully  tough. 

Throughout  the  entire  journey  we  pressed  on  to  the 
utmost  of  our  ability,  making  every  yard  we  could  in 
every  march,  and  when  our  limit  was  reached,  hastily 


pitched  our  tent,  made  our  tea,  and  as  soon  as  it  and 
a  biscuit  or  two  had  been  swallowed,  threw  ourselves 
down  for  a  few  hours'  sleep,  to  be  roused  by  the  first 
one  that  woke,  and  hurry  on  again.  We  could  feel 
the  last  mile  or  two  of  each  march  draeeingf  the  life 
and  vital  force  out  of  us,  and  we  anxiously  scanned 
each  bank  of  clouds,  for  we  all  knew  what  a  snow- 
storm would  mean  to  us. 

We  were  not  troubled  with  hopes  or  fears  as  to  any 

520       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

fortunate  chance  which  might  throw  help  in  our  way. 
There  would  be  no  searching"  for  us.  There  was  no 
one  to  search,  even  could  any  human  prescience  say 
where  to  look  for  us. 

Neither  was  there  any  possibility,  on  this  dead 
desert,  of  coming  upon  a  bear  or  seal  with  which  to 
put  new  life  into  us  and  our  dogs.  We  knew  the  im- 
mutable facts  of  our  problem.  They  had  the  cold  pre- 
cision of  mathematics. 

So  many  weary  miles  to  the  lodge,  so  many  meagre 
rations  on  our  sledg-e.  If  we  could  cover  those  miles 
in  the  time-equivalent  of  those  rations,  well  ;  if  not — 
there  was  no  uncertainty. 

Personally  I  did  not  suffer  much  from  hunger.  The  ra- 
tions had  been  so  continuously  insufficient  that  my  sys- 
tem seemed  to  have  gradually  accepted  the  inevitable. 
Lee  and  Henson,  brave  boys,  never  complained  ;  but 
the  hourly  and  ever  interesting  subject  of  what  sump- 
tuous feasts  they  would  have  if  they  ever  reached  the 
lodge,  gave  me  the  key  to  their  feelings. 

In  ordinary  weather  I  had  no  difficulty  in  keeping  a 
direct  course  across  the  ice-cap.  But  when  clouds 
swept  across  the  frozen  plateau,  they  enveloped  us  in 
a  fog  so  dense  that  it  was  impossible  to  take  ten  con- 
secutive steps  in  a  straight  line.  I  had  had  experience 
with  these  fogs  in  the  1892  journey  and  had  been  de- 
layed several  days  by  them  then.  Now  we  had  no  sev- 
eral days  to  waste.  One  day  might  hold  the  balance 
of  life  for  us,  and  spurred  by  this  necessity  we  devised 
a  little  compass-sledge  which  was  called  the  Path- 
Jindcr,  and  which,  pushed  before  us,  saved  three  days 
of  priceless  time. 

At  last  the  time  came  when  as  we  halted  at  the  end 
of  the  day's  march,  I  could  just  make  out  the  summits 
of  the  Whale-Sound  mountains  above  the  snow  hori- 
zon ahead  of  us.     We  had,  besides  a  little  tea  and 

Return  Ice-Cap  Journey  521. 

milk,  four  biscuits  remaining  for  our  supper  and  break- 
fast, and  one  dog,  Panikpah,  was  still  alive.  To 
him  I  fed  a  pair  of  sealskin  boots  and  a  few  yards  of 
rawhide  line.  Here  we  threw  away  our  cooking-gear, 
for  there  was  no  further  work  for  it,  and  began  our 
last  and  it  seemed  endless  march. 

When  we  reached  the  land  the  warm  odour  of  the 
earth,  the  soft  moss,  the  bright  flowers,   carried   me 


back  to  the  opulence  of  warmth  and  life  and  perfume 
of  the  waving  fields  in  the  distant  home-land,  and 
gave  me  a  flash  of  added  energy.  A  few  hours  later 
I  reached  the  head  of  the  little  valley  stretching  back 
from  the  lodge. 

Even  should  I  in  the  hereafter  be  permitted  to  gaze 
upon  the  glory  of  the  Golden  City,  the  sight  of  its 
splendour  will  not  outburn  the  peerless  view  that  met 

52  2        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

my  blurred  eyes  as  I  rounded  the  last  angle  of  the 
rocks  and  saw  before  me,  bathed  in  the  mellow  June 
sunlight,  the  placid  pool  of  Baby  Lake,  walled  by  the 
warm,  flower-sprinkled  rocks,  and  beyond,  framed  be- 
tween Lookout  Rock  and  the  cliff  of  Mt.  Bartlett,  the 

soft  mottled  sur- 
face of  the  bay, 
reachinof  to  the 
glowing  brown 
cliffs  about 
Gnome  Glacier. 
Food.  Rest. 

The  rough 
road  down  over 
the  rocks  was 
too  much  for  my 
poor  dog,  who 
gave  out  and  lay 
down  some  dis- 
tance from  the 
lodge,  where  I 
left  him,  know- 
ing- that  after  a 
rest  he  would 
strugorle  on  after 
us.  When  he 
did  come  in,  I  fed 
him  with  my  own 
hands,  and  be- 
fore I  had  eaten 
anything  myself, 
with  tender,  unfrozen  deer  meat,  till  he  was  absolutely 
satisfied  and  could  eat  no  more.  Poor  brute  !  The 
memory  of  those  famine  days  upon  the  "  Great  Ice" 
remained  so  vividly  with  him,  that  for  weeks  after  our 


Return  Ice-Cap  Journey 


return,  though  weak  and  afflicted  hke  ourselves,  he 
might  be  seen  at  any  time,  when  not  asleep,  hiding 
away  every  bit  of  meat  or  blubber,  and  every  bone 
that  he  could  find  about  the  place. 


After  a  light  and  simple  meal,  we  threw  ourselves 
down  and  slept  for  a  few  hours,  then  bathed,  ate 
lightly  again,  and  then  turned  in  for  a  long,  long  sleep. 
The  strain  of  the  grim  race  was  ended.  We  had 
distanced   our   grisly   competitor.      We   had   reached 

524       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

those  unspeakable  luxuries,  food  and  rest.      But  my 
noble  does  had  been  less  fortunate. 


Every  true  man  and  every  true  woman  loves  a 
noble  dog,  and  there  are  no  more  splendid  dogs  in  all 
the  world  than  those  magnificent  brutes  of  Whale 
Sound.  Perhaps  my  reader  may  think  me  prejudiced. 
I  have  a  right  to  be.  They  saved  my  life  and  the 
lives  of  my  two  comrades. 

Powerful,  savage  brutes,  as  one  would  expect  from, 
dogs  whose  ancestors  were  wolves,  yet  they  are  sus- 
ceptible to  kindly  treatment. 

My  favourite,  the  leader  of  my  team,  was  a  tall, 
steel-muscled  animal,  quick  and  strong  as  a  panther 
and  brusque  as  a  bull,  easily  the  match  of  the  entire 
team,  yet  when  I  approached,  he  would  come  and  rub 
his  big  head  against  my  leg,  with  that  deep  bass  growl 
of  satisfaction  which  tells  you  beyond  the  shadow  of  a 
doubt  that  your  dog  is  glad  to  see  you. 

And  never  were  dogs  or  men  more  faithful  than 
those  poor  brutes.  Day  after  day  they  struggled 
back  across  that  awful  frozen  desert,  fiehtingf  for  their 
lives  and  ours  ;  day  after  day  they  worked  till  the  last 
ounce  of  work  was  ofone  from  them,  and  then  fell  dead 
in  their  tracks  without  a  sound,  forty-one  of  them  out 
of  the  forty-two  with  which  I  left  the  "lost  cache." 

Faithful,  noble  servitors,  Nupsah,  Kardahsu,  Ko- 
monahpik,  Ahgotah,  Elingwah,  and  the  rest,  never 
shall  I  forget  you  ;  and  my  only  consolation  is  the 
knowledge,  that  like  ourselves,  you  did  not  suffer  pain. 
The  starvation  was  so  gradual  that,  when  at  last  the 
end  came,  and  your  exhausted  limbs  refused  to  move, 
your  bright  eyes  closed,  and  your  faithful  lives  went 
out  upon  the  savage  heart  of  the  "  Great  Ice,"  your 
end  was  painless,  as  our  own  would  have  been,  had  it 
not  been  for  you. 



Rki.axation  and  Utter  Exhaustion — Return  of  mv  Natives — Merid- 
ian OF  the  Arctic  Summer — Extremes  of  Feeling— Ooiiz/^A'so^^  (the 
Ship) — Arrival  of  Diebitsch  and  Salisbury — A  Long  Tramp  to  the  Ship 
— Return  of  "Miss  Bill" — Cape  Sabine — Walrus  and  Deer  Hunting 
— Farewell  to  the  Lodge — The  Meteorites — Jones  Sound — Dexter- 
ity Harbour — Caught  in  the  "  Middle  Pack" — Godhavn — St.  John's. 



WE  had  crossed 
from  moraine 
to  moraine  in 
twenty-four  and  a  quarter 
days,  making  in  that  time 
twenty-five  marches  of  an 
average  of  20.  i  miles. 
This  does  not  seem  Hke 
the  performance  of  ex- 
hausted men.  Yet  no- 
where  else  in  all  the 
Arctic  reg"ions  but  on  the 
Greenland  ice-cap  could  we  have  travelled  the  distance 
we  did  in  our  condition  ;  and  each  of  us  knows  full 
well  that  with  a  less  perfect  equipment  than  ours,  with 
different  sledges,  with  less  experience  in  sledgecraft, 
or  with  any  severe  weather  or  storms,  our  return  would 
have  been  extremely  doubtful. 

Without  snow-shoes  or  with  a  different  type  of 
sledge,  we  would  never  have  gotten  more  than  half- 
way home.  The  character  of  the  snow  after  the  first 
one  hundred  and  thirty  miles  was  such  that  no  man 
living  could  maintain  a  pace  of  more  than  ten  miles 
per  day  in  it.  Our  broad-runner  sledge  and  our  snow- 
shoes  enabled  us  to  skim  along  on  its  surface  without 
undue  exertion.     The  use  of  the  boat  compass  placed 


528       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

upon  the  ski  enabled  us  to  travel  in  the  thickest  weather, 
and  thus  prevented  the  loss  of  any  precious  time  ;  and 
finally,  the  absence  of  storms  or  any  severe  weather 
permitted  us  to  march  practically  without  interruption. 
For  this  last  we  all  have  occasion  to  be  very  thank- 
ful. A  severe  and  protracted  storm,  like  the  one  that 
stopped   Maigaard  and  myself  on  the  Inland  Ice  in 


Early  July. 

1886  ;  that  prisoned  Dr.  Cook,  Astrijp,  and  myself  on 
the  Red  Cliff-Peninsula  ice-cap  in  1892;  that  halted 
AstriJp  and  myself  for  sixty  hours,  less  than  a  hundred 
miles  from  Independence  Bay  ;  like  either  of  two  or 
three  that  my  parties  experienced  in  September,  Oc- 
tober, and  November  of  1893,  and  again  in  March 
and  April  of  1894  ;  or  that  held  Matt  and  myself  pris- 
oners for  six  days  in   October,  1894,   after  the  cessa- 

After  the  Return 


tion  of  which  we  were  able  to  make  but  twenty-two 
miles  in  two  days  with  ten  dogs  and  empty  sledges  ; 
— a  storm  like  these  occurring  at  any  time  after  we 
had  passed  the  four-hundredth  mile  on  our  upward 
journey,  would  have  emphatically  negatived  our  return. 
Though  able  at  a  slow  pace  to  walk  straight  ahead 
on  a  level  for  twenty  to  twenty-one  miles  a  day,  I  do 
not  believe  one  of  us  could  have  dragged  a  load  of 


seventy-five  pounds  two  days  in  succession.  Any 
sudden  or  increased  exertion  was  invariably  followed 
by  bleeding  at  the  nose,  and  a  weakness  which  would 
compel  us  to  stop  and  rest. 

The  use  of  every  expedient  known  to  the  Eskimos, 
or  that  our  own  ingenuity  could  devise  ;  Matt's  skill 
in  icing  the  sledge,  and  driving  the  dogs,  in  both  of 
which  accomplishments  he  was  almost  as  expert  as  an 

530       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Eskimo,  reduced  the  tractive  resistance  of  the  former 
to  the  very  minimum,  and  rendered  the  last  ounce  of 
pull  in  the  latter  effective. 

No  man  could  have  been  more  fortunate  than  I  in 
having  two  such  brave,  loyal  comrades  as  stood  by  me 
in  this  journey — Lee,  a  typical  Yankee  boy,  as  full  of 
"sand"  as  one  of  his  own  Connecticut  sea-beaches; 
Henson,  unhesitating  and  tenacious  as  a  bulldog.  And 
no  man  could  have  been  more  unfortunate  than  I  in 
that  I  was  unable  to  reward  their  courage  and  loyalty 
by  full  measure  of  success. 

I  endeavoured  to  impress  upon  the  boys  the  impera- 
tive necessity  of  exercising  the  utmost  caution  in  eat- 
ing, and  the  almost  certain  disastrous  results  that 
would  follow,  in  our  exhausted  condition,  if  we  over- 
loaded stomachs  accustomed  for  so  long  to  meagre 
rations  of  the  simplest  kind. 

I  think  I  practised  what  I  preached,  and  I  do  not 
think  any  of  us  ate  ravenously,  yet  we  did  not  escape 
severest  indigestion. 

For  a  week  after  our  return  from  the  ice-cap,  we 
felt  no  inclination  to  do  anything  but  lie  down.  The 
relaxation  consequent  upon  the  cessation  of  our  long 
struggle  ;  the  great  change  from  the  pure  rarefied  air 
and  low  temperatures  of  the  upper  ice-cap  to  the 
denser,  moister  air  and  comparatively  high  tempera- 
tures at  sea-level  ;  and  the  obstinate  diarrhcea  with 
which  we  were  all  afflicted  from  the  moment  of  our 
return,  united  to  drag  us  down  to  the  lowest  notch  of 
physical  exhaustion.  I  would  not  have  believed  that 
I  could  be  so  weak  and  short  of  breath.  The  journey 
to  the  brook,  a  hundred  yards  away,  for  a  pail  of  water 
was  a  serious  task,  and  impossible  of  accomplishment 
without  several  stops  for  rest.  Matt  had  at  first  the 
most  acute  attacks  of  stomach  disturbances,  but  Lee 
recovered  more  slowly  than  any  of  us.      Matt  and   1 

After  the  Return  53 r 

had  an  annoyance  which  he  escaped,  in  the  way  of 
swollen  feet  and  legs.  Within  an  hour  or  so  after 
rising  in  the  morning,  our  feet  and  legs  from  just 
above  the  knees  down  would  swell  almost  to  bursting, 
the  articulation  of  knee  and  ankle  disappearing  en- 
tirely. After  lying  down  for  a  few  hours  the  swelling 
would  be  almost  imperceptible,  only  to  come  on  again 
as  soon  as  we  moved  about.  All  this  time  the  weather 
was  of  the  finest,  it  was  the  midnoon  of  the  long  Arc- 


tic  summer  day,  and  we  lived  with  all  doors  and  win- 
dows wide  open.  After  being  so  long  in  the  pure 
and  limitless  atmosphere  of  the  ice-cap  we  should 
have  suffocated  with  them  closed. 

The  only  drawback  to  this  was  the  numbers  and 
voracity  of  the  mosquitoes.  On  the  sixth  day  after 
our  return,  Nooktah  and  Kardahsu  and  their  families 
came  back  from  Karnah.  They  were  delighted  to 
see  us  back  again,  and  their  presence  enlivened  us 
very  materially.       At  the  end  of  two  weeks,  we  were 

532        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

evidently  gaining,  and  Matt  rode  to  Kangerdlooksoah 
with  some  of  the  natives,  carrying  presents  and  in- 
structions to  the  hunters  there  to  go  out  for  deer  for 
me.       He    returned   with    three   saddles   of    venison. 



Two  weeks  later,  on  the  21st  of  July,  I  was  feeling  so 
well  that  I  thouo^ht  I  would  qto  to  Karnah  to  see  what 
the  ice  was  like  out  in  the  Sound.  The  condition  of 
the  bay  ice  was  the  same  as  the  year  before,  the  numer- 
ous pools  and   leads  making  riding  an  impossibility^ 

After  the  Return  533 

and  necessitating  almost  continuous  jumping.  I 
never  expect  to  feel  any  older,  if  I  live  to  be  a  hun- 
dred, than  I  did  after  the  first  few  miles.  Such  stiff- 
ness, and  lack  of  spring  and  energy,  I  would  not  have 
believed  possible.  Though  I  did  not  think  that  we 
had  been  strained  beyond  the  elastic  limit,  yet  it  was 
evident  we  had  come  very  close  to  it,  and  it  would 
take  a  long  time  to  restore  us  completely. 

The  outlook  from  the  Karnah  bluffs  over  the 
ice  in  the  Sound  gave  no  encouragement  for  an 
earlier  breaking  up  of  the  ice  than  usual,  and,  after 
a  twenty-four  hours'  rest,  I  started  back  for  the 
lodge  in  order  to  get  home  before  the  rapidly  widen- 
ing leads  became  impassable.  The  very  day  of  my 
return  there  was  a  pronounced  change  in  the  weather, 
and  from  then  on  to  the  end  of  the  month  it  was 
as  foggy  and  rainy  as  it  had  been  clear  and  bright 
previously.  Yet  there  was  consolation  for  us  in  the 
knowledge  that  the  fog  and  rain  were  rapidly  eating 
up  the  ice,  and  opening  a  way  for  the  ship.  The 
boys  were  constantly  thinking  and  talking  of  this, 
and  now  that  it  was  impossible  to  see  more  than 
half  a  mile  down  the  bay,  were  constantly  listening 
for  her.  Never  did  either  wake  at  night  without 
getting  up  and  going  out  to  listen,  and  several  times, 
when  everything  was  quiet,  one  or  the  other  would 
say :  "  Listen,  is  n't  that  her  propeller  thumping 
through  the  ice  ?  " 

As  for  myself,  I  felt  the  sharpest  extremes  of  feel- 
ing. At  times  it  seemed  as  if  I  could  not  wait 
another  moment  for  the  ship  to  bring  my  brown  eyes 
and  my  blue  eyes  to  me  ;  then  I  felt  that  even  were 
the  ship  here  I  could  not  go  on  board  and  say  I  had 
failed.  It  would  be  preferable  to  remain  where  I  was. 
At  times  I  even  hoped  that  the  ship  would  not  come, 
so  that  I  might  make  another  attempt  the  next  spring. 





After  the  Return  535 

I  planned  how  we  would  pass  the  winter,  living,  with 
the  natives,  entirely  upon  walrus  and  seal,  our  sole 
luxury  a  cup  of  coffee  once  a  week,  which  was  all  that 
my  scant  remaining  supplies  would  permit. 

August  2d,  I  read  till  nearly  midnight,  and  then 
threw  myself  down,  dressed  as  I  was,  upon  the  bed  in 
the  west  room,  with  doors  and  windows  all  wide  open. 
The  boys  had  been  talking  of  the  ship  all  day,  and 
were  getting  a  little  anxious.  Last  year  we  had  heard 
from  the  Falcon  on  the  last  day  of  July,  and  the  ice 
was  worse  then  than  now.  I  had  no  fears  myself.  I 
knew  the  brave  woman  at  home  would  send  a  ship  for 
us,  and  I  should  feel  no  uncertainty  in  regard  to  her 
until  the  twentieth  came  without  her  arrival. 

Next  I  was  conscious  of  someone  shaking  me  by 
the  shoulder  to  awaken  me,  and  opening  my  eyes, 
was  sleepily  conscious  of  Mrs.  Peary's  brother,  Mr. 
Diebitsch,  and  a  stranger,  standing  in  my  room. 
Then  I  heard  Lee's  voice  in  the  other  room, 
''Oomiaksoah  !''  (the  ship),  and  in  an  instant  was  fully 
awake.  Curiously  enough,  Lee,  wakened  by  the 
sound  of  voices  in  my  room,  had  understood  their 
significance  at  once,  yet  in  his  excitement  had  ex- 
pressed himself  in  Eskimo. 

My  first  question  may  be  imagined,  and  learning 
that  they  were  not  on  board,  my  interest  flagged  and 
I  let  my  visitors  tell  their  story,  while  Lee  and  Matt 
hurried  to  start  a  fire  and  set  out  some  beans  and 
coffee.  From  Diebitsch  I  learned  that  the  Falcon  had 
been  lost  with  all  on  board  the  previous  October  after 
landing  my  party  in  Philadelphia,  and  that  he  had 
come  north  In  the  Kite,  Capt.  Bartlett,  Master,  accom- 
panied by  a  scientific  party,  composed  of  Prof.  Rollln 
D.  Salisbury  of  the  Chicago  University,  Prof.  L.  L. 
Dyche  of  Kansas,  Collector  for  the  American  Museum 
of   Natural   History,  Dr.  Walsh   of  Washington,  and 

After  the  Return  537 

Mr.  Le  Boiitillier,  representative  of  the  Geographi- 
cal Club  of   Philadelphia. 

Nooktah  and  his  family,  wakened  by  the  excitement, 
crowded  about  the  door,  and  seeing  his  eager  face  re- 
minded me  that  there  was  one  whom  he  too  was  anxious 
to  hear  of, — his  girl,  who  had  gone  south  with  Mrs. 
Peary  a  year  before.  I  interrupted  the  conversation  to 
ask  about  her,  and  when  I  told  him  she  was  well  and  on 
the  ship,  his  face  brightened,  he  turned  to  old  Ahtun- 
gahnah  with  a  brief  "  Get  my  kamiks  ready,"  and  with 
his  family  disappeared  to  their  house  to  prepare  for  the 
tramp  to  the  ship.  The  A'zV^  was  over  in  McCormick 
Bay,  fast  in  the  ice  off  the  mouth  of  Four-Mile  River. 
She  had  been  unable  to  get  near  the  mouth  of  Bowdoin 
Bay  by  reason  of  the  heavy  ice,  and  so  had  entered  Mc- 
Cormick Bay  and  forced  her  way  as  far  as  possible, 
and  Diebitsch  and  Salisbury,  leaving  her,  had  walked 
up  the  shore  of  the  bay,  traversed  Tooktoo  Valley, 
crossed  the  Kahkoktah  and  Bowdoin  Glaciers,  and 
wading  the  glacier  river  had  reached  the  lodge  an  hour 
after  midnight,  and  finding  the  door  open  had  entered 
and  wakened  us.  They  were  thoroughly  tired  and 
soaked  after  their  long  tramp,  and  I  was  very  glad  to 
have  a  mouthful  of  whiskey  to  offer  them.  Then  after 
a  hearty  meal  of  beans,  brown  bread,  and  coffee,  I 
tucked  them  in  under  some  deerskins  to  sleep  like 
Babes  in  the  Wood.  At  noon  the  same  day  we 
started  back  with  them,  accompanied  by  Nooktah, 
and  reached  the  Kite  about  four  in  the  morning. 

I  had  felt  considerable  interest  to  see  what  the 
meeting  between  faithful  old  Nooktah  and  his 
daughter,  from  whom  he  had  been  separated  a  year, 
would  be  like.  When  we  reached  the  ship  she  was 
asleep,  but  was  awakened,  and  told  that  her  father 
was  on  deck.  After  waiting  some  minutes,  and  she 
not  putting  in   an   appearance,  someone  was   sent   to 

53^         Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

see  what  the  trouble  was,  and  found  that  she  had 
cahnly  gone  to  sleep  again.  She  was  re-awakened 
and  told  to  dress  and  come  on  deck,  as  her  father  was 
there.  A  few  moments  later  she  appeared,  but,  as  far 
as  any  external  indication  was  concerned,  she  and  her 
father  might  have  been  separated  only  ten  minutes. 
The  next  day,  however,  I  learned  from  some  of  the 
ship  people  that,  after  she  and  her  father  had  gone 
below,  where  they  were  by  themselves,  she  had  talked 


to  him  an  unceasing  stream  through  nearly  two  entire 
watches  (eight  hours). 

As  it  would  evidently  be  impracticable  for  the  Kite 
to  reach  the  lodge  for  ten  days  or  two  weeks  yet,  I  de- 
cided to  put  in  the  intervening  time  in  securing  some 
deer  and  walrus,  and  examining,  more  closely  than  I  had 
yet  had  the  opportunity  to  do,  the  islands  in  Whale 
Sound,  so  that  as  soon  as  the  ship  could  reach  the 
lodge   and  get  my  things   on  board,  we  might  steam 

After  the  Return  539 

south  to  Cape  York  and  begin  work  upon  the  meteor- 
ites, a  second  attempt  to  remove  which  I  intended  to 
make.  Consequently  we  spent  a  day  or  two  in  se- 
curing wahus  in  the  Whale-Sound  walrus  grounds  ; 
then  parts  of  two  days  in  a  circumnavigation  of  the 
three  islands,  with  a  visit  to  the  loomeries  ;  and  then, 
after  some  delay  on  account  of  the  ice,  we  succeeded  in 
effecting  an  entrance  to  Olriks  Bay,  where  two  days 
were  spent  and  a  number  of  reindeer  secured.    Steam- 


ing  out  from  here,  we  bore  away  for  the  entrance  of 
the  Sound,  and  then  steamed  southward  into  Wolsten- 
holm  Sound,  where  we  devoted  another  day  or  two 
to  eettino-  walrus  to  add  to  the  collection  of  the  Amer- 
ican  Museum  of  Natural  History.  From  here  we 
continued  our  southward  journey  to  Cape  York, 
where  we  took  on  board  all  the  able-bodied  men  of 
the  village,  and  steamed  eastward  to  the  site  of  the 

540        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

I  was  very  agreeably  surprised  to  find  the  ice  in 
such  condition  that  the  Kite  could  be  forced  to  within 
about  a  mile  and  a  half  of  the  head  of  the  little  bay, 
near  which  the  two  smaller  meteorites  were  located,  and 
the  next  four  or  five  days  were  consumed  in  moving  the 
six-thousand-pound  mass,  which  I  had  excavated  from 
the  snow  and  ice  previously,  together  with  the  still 
smaller  one  (the  "  Dog  "),  which,  now  that  the  snow 
was  melted  away,  was  found  about  one  hundred  feet 
from  the  other,  down  to  the  shore  and  out  through 
the  bay  to  the  ship's  side,  where  they  were  hoisted  on 
board  and  deposited  in  the  hold.  The  excavation  of 
the  third  and  largest  mass  on  the  island  at  the  mouth 
of  the  bay  was  also  commenced,  but  it  was  soon  found 
that  we  had  no  appliances  whatever  with  which  to 
handle  its  enormous  weio^ht. 

On  the  last  day  of  August,  the  Kite  forced  her  way 
out  through  the  now  rapidly  forming  new  ice  and 
steamed  westward  for  Cape  York. 

Here  my  Eskimos  went  ashore,  loaded  with  pres- 
ents, with  the  most  unrestrained  exclamations  of  de- 
light, in  their  great  acquisition — the  whale-boat  which 
I  had  given  them.  With  the  glasses  I  watched  them 
on  the  shore  gathered  about  their  newly  acquired  treas- 
ures, until  the  point  of  the  cape  shut  the  village  from 
view.  Rounding  the  cape,  our  course  was  shaped 
for  Jones  Sound,  over  a  summer  sea,  and  through  a 
myriad  fleet  of  fantastic-shaped,  exquisite-coloured 
bergs.  The  great  green-brown  cliffs,  rich  in  the 
yellow  sunlight,  glowed  good-bye  to  me,  as  they  had 
glowed  a  welcome  two  years  ago.  Great  cliffs  !  long 
will  you  live  in  remembrance  with  the  merry,  care- 
free human  children  sheltered  at  your  feet,  careless  of 
the  comine  ni^ht,  thoug-htless  of  the  orreat  hereafter. 

Soon  after  leaving  the  cape,  we  ran  into  the  fog 
which  for  the  past  week  or  more  had  been  lying  off 

542        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

to  the  south  and  west,  and  during  much  of  the  night 
were  obliged  to  run  at  half-speed  through  its  dense 
folds.  No  ice  and  but  few  bergs  were  seen.  At  nine 
P.M.  of  Saturday  we  were  close  to  the  glacier-burdened 
shore  of  North  Devon,  just  north  of  Philpot  Island, 
and  turned  north  to  enter  the  Sound.  The  strong 
southerly  current,  and  an  unreliable  compass  had 
taken  us  from  our  course.  Running  at  half-speed 
during  the  night,  at  eight  a.m.  Sunday  morning  we 
were  well  inside  Cobure  Island,  steamina-  towards 
Cone  Island,  under  the  north  shore  ;  the  morning 
clear,  except  for  a  light  haze  which  made  distant  land 
indistinct  or  invisible,  with  a  fresh  northerly  breeze, 
and  no  ice  discernible. 

West  of  Cone  Island,  we  passed  through  loose  ice 
for  a  few  miles,  and  twenty-five  miles  west  of  the  is- 
land encountered  more  of  it  which  became  more 
closely  packed  as  we  advanced,  till  at  the  end  of  two 
miles  it  was  evident  we  could  proceed  at  best  but  a 
mile  or  two  farther.  At  three  p.m.,  twenty-seven  miles 
west  of  Cone  Island,  the  Kite  was  turned  about,  and 
headed  back  for  the  island,  which  was  reached  between 
seven  and  eight  p.m.  A  landing  was  effected  here,  and 
numerous  traces  of  Eskimos — viz.,  meat  caches,  graves, 
remains  of  igloos,  rings  of  tent-stones,  stone  wind- 
shelters,  bones  of  whale,  narwhal,  bear,  walrus,  seal,  and 
birds  were  found,  and  one  or  two  implements  of  bone. 
The  remains  of  a  soft-coal  fire  were  also  observed. 
Arctic  poppies  were  seen  still  in  bloom.  Before  leav- 
ing the  island,  a  cairn  was  built  on  a  conspicuous 
rounded  rock  just  south  of  the  main  island,  and  con- 
nected with  it  by  a  dyke  bare  at  low  water.  In  the 
cairn  was  deposited  a  brief  record,  then  we  returned 
to  the  Kite,  and  she  steamed  away  for  Cape  Fitz  Roy. 

The  ice  seen  in  Jones  Sound  was  very  rough,  but 
not  especially  thick,  as  far  as  observed.      There  were 

After  the  Return 


comparatively  few  bergs  visible,  and  none  of  large 
size.  There  was  a  strong  current  setting  into  the 
Sound.  Several  seals,  a  few  burgomaster  gulls,  two 
or  three  young  black  guillemots,  and  numerous  ful- 
mars comprised  the  life  seen.  There  is  a  colony  of 
the  latter  on  the  south  side  of  Smith  Island. 

Though  no  survey,   properly  speaking,  was  made 
during  our  stay  in  the  Sound,  which  would  warrant 


/.'/ 1 

1  II 





^  < 


w^^         1 


li  ^ 

'  1 

§»"       1 




a  change  in  existing  charts,  such  angles  as  were  taken, 
together  with  the  evidence  of  our  eyes,  indicate  that 
the  shores  of  Jones  Sound,  as  now  shown,  are  some- 
what in  error. 

The  south  shore  of  Jones  Sound  is  not  as  direct  as 
shown  on  the  charts,  but  is  pronouncedly  convex  to 
the  northward,  the  maximum  convexity  being  about 
abreast  of  a  point  somewhat  west  of  Cone  Island. 

544       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Cape  Tennyson  is  a  high  ragged  brown  island 
some  distance  off  the  shore,  with  a  smaller  one  just 
west  of  it ;  the  line  of  the  coast  back  of  it  is  flatter 
than  shown  on  the  charts,  and  the  change  in  trend  of 
the  north  shore  is  more  nearly  at  the  point  of  the 
mainland  just  east  of  Smith  Island,  than  at  Cape 
Tennyson.  The  bay  behind  Smith  and  Cone  Islands 
is  more  extensive  than  shown  on  the  chart. 

There  is  no  such  bend  in  the  northern  shore  of  the 
Sound  as  is  shown  on  the  charts  at  the  point  marked 
Sir  R.  Inglis  Peak.  The  coast-line,  broken  only  by 
perhaps  two  or  three  small  fjords,  is  continuous  for  a 
distance  of  seventy-five  miles  beyond  Cone  Island, 
and  is  concave  to  the  south. 

Cone  Island  is  a  ragged-profiled  cone,  of  what  Pro- 
fessor Salisbury  determined  to  be  granitic  gneiss. 
Though  larger,  it  bears  a  strong  resemblance  to  the 
well-known  Conical  and  Dalrymple  Rocks  of  the  east 
side  of  Smith  Sound,  and  the  Little  Matterhorn  at 
the  head  of  Inplefield  Gulf. 

From  the  appearance  of  the  cliffs  forming  the 
shores  of  the  Sound,  it  is  probable  that  the  formation 
of  the  entire  region,  with  the  exception  of  two  or 
three  very  limited  areas,  is  the  same  as  that  of  Cone 

Glaciers  are  numerous  on  the  south  side  of  the 
Sound  ;  the  ice-cap  is  nearly  continuous  with  the  shore 
line,  and  some  twenty  glaciers,  several  of  which  are  of 
large  size,  may  be  counted  from  Cape  Fitz  Roy  west- 
ward. The  ice-cap  from  which  these  glaciers  flow 
suo-orests  in  its  accented  undulations  that  between 
Saviksoah  and  Cape  York  Bays.  On  the  western  side 
of  Coburg  Island  are  nine  glaciers,  the  extremities  of 
which,  protruding  beyond  the  line  of  the  cliffs  and  ex- 
panding laterally,  are  nearly  all  united  to  form  an  al- 
most continuous  sea-plain.       This  side  of  the  island 

546       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

suggests  very  forcibly  the  north  side  of  Northumber- 
land Island  and  the  western  side  of  Cape  York  Bay. 

The  north  shore  of  the  Sound,  except  where  inter- 
rupted by  glaciers,  is  a  series  of  nearly  continuous  pre- 
cipitous cliffs  from  Cape  Tennyson  to  Smith  Island, 
and  from  a  few  miles  west  of  Cone  Island  west  as  far 
as  observable.  The  number  of  glaciers  is  considerably 
less  than  on  the  south  side  of  the  Sound.  One  larw 
one  debouches  behind  Cape  Tennyson  and  three 
others  near  and  west  of  it.  Near  the  last  of  these 
is  a  peculiar  truncated,  pyramidal  mountain  or  rock. 
Just  east  of  Smith  Island,  a  glacier  descends  through 
a  gorge  from  three-quarters  of  a  mile  to  a  mile  in  width, 
and,  reaching  the  sea,  spreads  into  a  huge  fan  the  width 
of  which  is  ten  times  the  width  in  the  gorge. 

A  large  glacier  at  the  head  of  the  bay  behind  Smith 
and  Cone  Islands  has  a  fan-shaped  extremity  appar- 
ently from  twelve  to  fifteen  times  the  width  of  the 
ice-stream  in  the  o-orw.  This  excessive  lateral  devel- 
opment  of  the  extremity  seems  to  be  a  peculiarity  of 
all  the  larore  glaciers  of  this  Sound.  The  laro^e  o-laciers 
on  the  north  side  have  terminal  moraines  along  the 
western  portion  of  their  faces.  On  the  eastern  side 
of  the  bay,  behind  Smith  and  Cone  Islands,  are  four 
small  haneinof  or  drift  grlaciers. 

Coming  out  of  Jones  Sound  we  steamed  south 
along  the  west  coast,  past  the  mouth  of  Lancaster 
Sound,  and,  when  down  near  Dexterity  Harbour,  des- 
cried a  couple  of  whalers  approaching  from  the  north. 
By  the  time  we  had  entered  the  harbour  in  which  I  had 
lain  in  the  Eagle  in  1886,  the  two  whalers  (the  Au- 
rora, Captain  Jackman,  and  the  Esqznmaux,  Captain 
Adams)  were  up  with  us,  and  dropped  anchor  just 
outside  of  us.  In  1886,  Dexterity  Harbour  was  unin- 
habited ;  now  a  settlement  of  quite  a  number  of  tents 
was  located  on  the  south  side,  attracted  here  by  the 

548       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

visits  of  the  whalers.  A  short  stop  only  was  made,  to 
make  some  studies  of  these  people,  and  then  we  got 
under  way  and  steamed  out.     Before  this,  however. 


a    third   whaler  (the   BalcEiia,    Captain    Fairweather) 
came  in. 

Heading  south-east  from  Dexterity,  we  soon  en- 
countered the  "  middle  pack,"  and  in  a  short  time 
it  was  so  dense  and  heavy  that  we  found  it  impossible 
to  advance,  and  equally  impossible  to  retreat  by  the 

After  the  Return 


way  we  had  come.  In  this  predicament  we  remained 
for  three  days,  drifting  slowly  southward  with  the 
pack,  and  some  on  board  were  beginning  to  get 
anxious  at  the  prospect  of  wintering  in  the  pack, 
when  a  temporary  slight  slackening  of  the  ice  about 
us  allowed  us,  by  crowding  on  all  steam,  to  worry  our 
way  out  Into  somewhat  looser  ice,  and  then  gradually 
force  our  way  back  to  the  north-westward,  and  then 
northward,  until  we  found  a  practicable  opening- 
through  the  middle  of  the  pack,  and  were  enabled 
to  get  into  the  Greenland  waters  off  Upernavik,  and 
bear  away  southward  for  Godhavn, 

Here,  after  the  usual  stop  for  water  and  ballast,  we 
steamed  out  and  down  Davis  Strait,  and  though  we 
had  rather  heavy  weather  for  nearly  two  days,  the 
winds,  as  a  rule,  were  favourable,  and  our  voyage 
to  St.  John's  was  accomplished  without  incident. 
Arriving  here  late  in  September,  the  Kite  was  dis- 
charged, and  the  party,  with  the  meteorites,  and  a 
large  quantity  of  valuable  specimens  for  the  American 
Museum,  transhipped  to  the  Red  Cross  steamer  for 
New  York. 

550        Northward  over  the  '*  Great  Ice  " 

LAND   EXPEDITIONS   OF    1893   TO    1895. 


The  delimitation  of  the  detached  lands  lying  north  of  main 

The  filling  in  of  the  rejnaining  gaps  in  the  northern  and 
north-eastern  coast-line  of  Greenland. 

In  the  event  of  favourable  conditions,  an  attempt  upon  the 

The  completion  of  the  detail  survey  of  the  Whale-Sound 

Continuation  of  the  studies  of  the  SmitJi-Sound  Eskimos. 

The  discovery  of  the  '^Iron  Mountain.'' 


The  crossing  of  the  Inland  Ice-cap  of  North  Greenland 
under  a  most  serious  handicap  of  insufficient  provisions. 

The  completion  of  the  detail  survey  of  Whale  Sound. 

Large  accessions  of  material  and  information  in  connection 
with  the  Smith-Sound  Eskimos. 

The  discovery  of  the  ^' Iron  Motmtain''  or  Cape-York 
"  Saviksue,"  and  the  bringing  home  of  two  of  those  interesting 


SUMMER    VOYAGES    OF    1896-1897. 


Cape  York  "Saviksue" — History,  and  Efforts  to  Secure  them — Dis- 
covery in  1894 — Location — Securing  "Woman"  and  "Dog"  in  1895 — 
Work  on  "  Ahnighito"  in  1896 — Securing  "Ahnighito"  in  1897 — De- 
scription—  Authenticity  —  Notes  and  Speculations  —  Discovery  of 
Ancient  Eskimo  Knives  Made  from  "Saviksue" — Proposed  Group — 
Rh.^uMF.  of  Points  of  Special  Interest. 

Site  of  Saviksue 

C.San  Lucas 

_Q^       Uuaclil. 

—  ^TTaVWi^        s  - 



-B     J, 


Lonsitude  West 

from  Greenwich 

"  HOPE  "    IN    1897. 

PART    V. 


THE  two  summer  voyages 
made  by  me  in  1896 
and  1897  had  for  their 
object,  among  others, 
the  bringing  home  of  the  third, 
last,  and  largest  of  the  Cape- 
York  meteorites.  The  securing 
of  this  enormouscelestial  visitor 
was  the  main  object  of  the 
1896  voyage  ;  the  secondary 
object  of  the  voyage  of  1897. 

In  both  these  voyages  my 
ship  was  the  S.S.  Hope.  In 
both,  her  Master  was  Capt. 
John  Bartlett,  and  each  time  I 
took  parties  of  scientific  men  and  students  for  a  summer  of  Arctic 
field  work. 

These  voyages  were  full  of  incidents  which,  under  other  cir- 
cumstances, would  furnish  abundant  material  for  a  volume. 
But  these  incidents  must  yield  space  to  a  condensed  narrative  of 
one  of  the  most  unique  episodes  in  the  annals  of  Arctic  explora- 
tion, the  discovery  and  removal  from  their  frozen  beds  of  the 
most  interesting  of  known  meteorites,  with  a  brief  description  of 


Of  all  the  great  meteorites  of  the  world's  collections,  as  well 
as  the  more  or  less  legendary  and  mysterious  celestial  visitors, 
the  "heaven  stones,"  "thunderbolts,"  "  abaddirs,"  Palladium, 
etc.,  which  have  elicited  the  awe  and  veneration  of  man  since  re- 
mote antiquity,  the  "  Saviksue  "  or  Cape-York  meteorites,  must, 


554        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

from  their  exceptional  size,  their  purity  and  homogeneousness 
of  composition,  the  extreme  northern  latitude  in  which  they 
were  found,  their  incontrovertibly  celestial  origin,  and  their 
human  associations,  be  conceded  to  rank  first. 

The  history  of  these  meteorites  up  to  the  time  of  their  dis- 
covery by  me  is  comprised  in  the  statement  that,  when  Capt. 
Ross  in  1818  discovered  the  existence,  in  the  vicinity  of  Cape 
York,  of  a  previously  unknown  tribe  of  Eskimos,  he  found  in 
their  possession  rude  knives  and  harpoon  points  with  cutting 
edges  of  iron.  The  metal  in  these  implements,  as  well  as  could 
be  determined  from  the  imperfect  communication  with  these 
people,  had  been  obtained  by  them  from  an  "  Iron  Mountain  " 
on  the  northern  shore  of  Melville  Bay. 

An  analysis  of  the  metal  showed  the  presence  of  nickel,  and  led 
to  the  inference  that  the  source  of  iron  supply  of  these  northern 
people  was  meteoric.  For  a  full  account  of  this,  and  for  various 
papers  bearing  upon  the  subject,  the  reader  is  referred  to  Capt. 
Ross's  narrative  and  to  theArc^u  Manual. 

Nordenskjold's  discovery  of  the  famous  Ovifak  irons  on  Disco 
Island,  and  the  ultimate  determination  of  their  telluric  rather  than 
extra-terrestrial  origin,  gave  rise  to  doubts  as  to  the  meteoric 
character  of  the  more  northern  and  semi-mythical  Cape-York 
iron,  and  it  was  assumed  that  this  iron  was  also  telluric. 

One  of  the  objects  of  almost  every  expedition  which  has  gone 
north  in  that  region  since  181 8  has  been  the  solution  of  the 
mystery  of  the  "  Iron  Mountain." 

In  the  '40's  the  King  of  Denmark  authorised  an  expedition  for 
the  purpose  of  discovering  and  determining  the  character  of  the 
"  Mountain,"  but  nothing  came  of  the  effort. 

The  officers  of  the  North  Star,  one  of  the  Franklin  search 
ships  which  passed  the. winter  of  1849-50  in  Wolstenholm  Sound, 
north  of  Cape  York,  were  unsuccessful  in  locating  the  iron,  and 
the  same  may  be  said  of  the  various  expeditions,  English,  Ameri- 
can, and  others,  and  the  whalers,  which  visited  these  waters  during 
a  long  series  of  years  after  Ross's  voyage.  None  of  these  came 
any  nearer  than  Ross  himself  to  clearing  up  the  mystery. 

From  the  fact  that  the  existence  of  this  iron  was  discovered 
by  an  English  officer,  the  British  Museum  has  been  specially 
interested  in  the  subject,  and  one  of  the  objects  of  the  splendid 
English  Arctic  Expedition  of  1875-76  was  to  clear  up  the  ques- 
tion of  its  location  and  character  if  possible.  This  desired  result, 
however,  was  not  accomplished. 

Baron  Nordenskjold's  ship  in  1883  went  to  Cape  York  for 
the    express  purpose  of  discovering  and,  if  practicable,  bringing 

55^        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

away  the  iron,  but  the  ice  did  not  permit  her  to  penetrate  Melville 
Bay,  and  this  expedition,  like  previous  ones,  returned  unsuccess- 

Up  to  the  spring  of  1894,  the  information  already  noted  aboye 
comprised  the  sum-total  of  our  knowledge  on  this  interesting  sub- 

It  was  fortunately  reserved  for  me  to  settle  the  question  finally 
and  definitely.  After  I  had  gained  the  confidence  of  the  entire 
little  tribe  of  Smith-Sound  Eskimos,  Tellikotinah,  one  of  the 
hunters,  in  May  of  1894,  guided  me  to  the  "Iron  Mountain,"' 
where  1  found,  not  a  mountain  or  vein  of  iron,  but  three  large 
masses  of  homogeneous  metal,  the  peculiar  and  unmistakable 
characteristics  of  which,  and  especially  the  nature  of  their  sur- 
roundings, proved  them  to  be,  beyond  the  possibility  of  doubt, 
true  meteoric  irons. 

In  the  latter  part  of  August  of  the  same  year  I  attempted,  in 
the  Falcon^  to  penetrate  Melville  Bay  to  the  site  of  the  meteorites, 
and  embark  them  for  the  purpose  of  sending  them  home.  The  sum- 
mer of  1894,  however,  was  an  unusually  severe  one  in  this  por- 
tion of  the  Arctic  regions,  and  the  ice  of  Melville  Bay  did  not 
move  out  at  all,  but  remained  cemented  to  the  shore  throughout 
the  entire  season,  rendering  it  impossible  for  me  to  get  my  ship 
within  thirty  or  forty  miles  of  my  prizes. 

In  December  of  the  same  year  (the  midnight  of  the  Arctic  win- 
ter night)  I  made  a  second  attempt  to  revisit  the  meteorites,  sledg- 
ing from  the  lodge  in  Bowdoin  Bay,  but  bad  weather  combined 
with  the  darkness  to  close  the  ever  inhospitable  door  of  Melville 
Bay  to  me,  and  I  was  unable  to  get  beyond  Cape  York,  where  I 
was  storm-bound  for  several  days,  and  then  returned  to  the  lodge, 
narrowly  escaping  the  loss  of  my  dogs  and  sledge  by  the  breaking 
up  of  the  ice  about  me  while  rounding  Cape  Parry." 


The  location  of  these  meteorites  is  on  the  northern  shore  of  that 
great  icy  fastness,  Melville  Bay,  some  thirty-five  miles  east  of 
Cape  York.  Just  inside  of  Bushnan  Island  is  a  second  island, 
larger  than  Bushnan,  and  hitherto  taken  for  part  of  the  main- 
land. This  island  lies  directly  across  the  mouth  of  a  double- 
armed  bay  which  reaches  northward  into  the  land,  and  has  an 
opening  westward  toward  Cape  York,  and  eastward  into  Melville 
Bay,  past  the  ends  of  the  island. 

The  eastern  arm  of  this  bay  terminates  in  a  little  rectangular 
cove,  walled  by  a   series  of  hills  three  hundred  to  six  hundred 

'  See  Chap,  vi.,  Part  III.  ''■  See  Chaps,  vii.  and  viii.,  Part  IV. 

558        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

feet  high.  'J'his  wall  is  continuous  except  at  the  eastern  angle  of 
the  cove,  where  a  narrow,  gently  sloping  valley  opens.  Proceed- 
ing up  this  valley  for  a  few  hundred  yards,  one  finds  oneself  on 
the  divide  of  a  narrow  isthmus  separating  the  bay  already  men- 
tioned from  a  glacier  bay  to  the  eastward,  and  uniting  the  mount- 
ains which  overhang  the  head  of  the  bay  with  the  bold  and 
striking  masses  that  form  its  eastern  shore  and  headland.  The 
centre  of  the  isthmus  is  about  eighty  feet  above  the  sea-level  at 
its  highest  point,  and  a  few  yards  north  of  this  divide,  on  the 
southern  slope  of  the  mountain,  the  two  smaller  of  the  famous 
"Saviksue,"  the  "  woman  "  and  the  "dog,"  lay  loosely  upon  the 
gneissose  rocks  which  cover  the  ground. 

Standing  here  the.  eye  roams  southward,  over  the  broken  ice- 
masses  of  Glacier  Bay,  the  favourite  haunt  of  the  polar  bear  ; 
eastward,  across  the  glacier  itself,  to  the  ebon  faces  of  the  Black 
Twins,  two  beetling  ice-capped  cliffs,  which  frown  down  upon  the 
glacier  ;  northward,  to  the  boulder-strewn  slopes  of  a  gneissose 
mountain  ;  and  westward,  over  the  placid  surface  of  Saviksoah 
Bay,  which  presents  a  striking  contrast  to  the  berg  chaos  on  the 
opposite  side  of  the  isthmus. 

About  midway  of  the  eastern  shore  of  the  inner  island,  and  some 
six  miles  south  of  the  site  of  the  "  woman  "  and  the  "dog,"  lay 
the  third  and  largest,  the  "tent,"  meteorite,  nearly  buried  in  the 
rocks  and  soil,  upon  a  terrace  some  eighty  feet  above  high-water 
mark,  and  distant  about  a  hundred  yards  from  the  shore.  Near 
by  rises  one  of  the  most  peculiar  peaks  that  I  have  seen  anywhere 
upon  the  Greenland  coast, — a  gneissose  mass  with  sharp,  over- 
hanging crest, — which  I  have  called  Signal  Mountain,  since  it  has 
for  centuries  been  marking  the  position  of  the  celestial  visitor. 
Both  from  this  mountain,  and  from  the  site  of  the  meteorite  itself, 
the  northern  shores  of  Melville  Bay  present  an  eastward-stretch- 
ing panorama  until  hidden  behind  a  labyrinth  of  icebergs. 

In  winter  this  region  is  the  desolation  of  Arctic  desolations, 
constantly  harassed  by  biting  winds,  and  every  rock  deep  buried 
beneath  the  snow,  swept  in  by  these  winds  throughout  the  long 
dark  night,  from  the  broad  expanse  of  Melville  Bay,  and 
piled  in  drifts,  which  in  many  places  are  hundreds  of  feet 
deep.  Even  in  summer,  only  the  directly  southward-facing  slopes 
of  the  mountains  are  free  from  snow  for  a  few  weeks,  while  in  the 
valleys  and  on  the  northward  slopes  the  drifts  remain  eternally. 
A  large  portion  of  the  ice  and  bergs  of  Melville  Bay  pass  close 
along  this  coast  in  their  slow  drift  westward  toward  the  southerly 
current  of  Smith  Sound.  Consequently  the  shore  is  beset  with 
ice   during   about   ele\en   months   of  even   the   most   favourable 


Looking  Eastward 

The  "Saviksue"  or  Cape-York  Meteorites  559 

years,  and  the  slightest  in- 
crease in  the  severity  of  a 
season  beyond  the  normal, 
results  in  the  coast  being 
completely  blockaded  and 
rendered  inaccessible 
throughout  the  entire  year. 
The  historical  data  to 
be  obtained  from  the  na- 
tives in  regard  to  the  me- 
teorites is  rather  scanty. 
According  to  them  the  "Sa- 
viksue "  (great  irons)  have 
been  where  I  discovered 
them  from  time  immemori- 
al ;  but  they  were  originally 
an  Innuit  woman  and  her 
dog  and  tent  hurled  from 
the  sky  by  Tornarsuk  (the 
Evil  Spirit).  They  say  that 
at  first  the  "  woman  "  v/as 
in  shape  like  a  woman  seat- 
ed and  sewing,  but  that  the 
constant  chipping  off  of 
fragments  through  succes- 
sive ages  has  gradually  re- 
moved the  upper  portion  of 
her  body  and  reduced  her 
size  one-half  or  one-third. 
Years  ago  her  head  became 
detached  and  a  party  of 
Eskimos  from  Peterahwik 
or  Etah  (settlements  north 
of  Whale  Sound)  attempted 
to  carry  it  away,  actuated 
probably  by  the  desire  to 
have  a  supply  of  the  pre- 
cious metal  more  conven- 
ient, and  save  themselves 
the  long  and  arduous  jour- 
ney to  Cape  York  and  into 
Melville  Bay,  when  they 
needed  to  replenish  their 
stock  of  iron.      The   head 

The  "Saviksue"  or  Cape- York  Meteorites   561 

was  lashed  upon  a  sledge  and  the  party  started  for  their  home, 
but  when  well  out  from  the  shore  the  sea  ice  suddenly  broke  up 
with  a  loud  noise,  and  the  head  disappeared  beneath  the  water, 
dragging  down  with  it  the  sledge  and  dogs.  The  Eskimos  them- 
selves narrowly  escaped  with  their  lives,  and  since  that  time  no 
attempt  has  been  made  to  carry  away  any  but  the  smallest  frag- 
ments of  the  heavenly  woman. 

This  mass  is  the  one  from  which  all  the  ancient  iron  supply  of 
this  people  was  obtained,  and  the  supposed  statement  of  the 
natives  to  Captain  Ross  that  one  mass  was  composed  principally 

THE  "DOG." 

of  a  black  rock  containing  iron  in  the  shape  of  small  nodules 
imbedded  in  it,  was  a  misinterpretation.  The  hard,  dark  rock 
mentioned  by  the  natives,  a  piece  of  which  they  gave  Ross,  was  a 
piece  of  one  of  the  trap-cobbles  used  in  hammering  off  fiakes  of 
the  iron,  and  not  a  portion  of  the  rocky  matrix  enclosing  the 
metal.  For  several  generations,  probably  from  the  time  of  the 
wintering  of  the  JVorth  Star  or  possibly  earlier,  no  use  has 
been  made  of  the  iron  of  these  meteorites  by  the  natives  ;  they 
obtaining  their  scant  supply  of  knives  from  the  whalers  and 
expedition  ships  visiting  their  coast  or  beset  in  the  ice  off  Cape 

Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice 

SECURING        WOINIAN         AND 
"  DOG  "  IN   1895. 

In  spite  of  my  previous 
unsuccessful  attem]jts  to 
revisit  tlie  meteorites  the 
effort  was  not  given  up,  and 
finally  late  in  August,  1895, 
I  rounded  Cape  York  in 
the  steamer  X/Vi^jWhich  had 
been  sent  by  Mrs.  Peary  to 
bring  me  and  my  two  com- 
panions home,  and  finding 
Melville  Bay  comparatively 
free  from  ice,  every  possi- 
ble pound  of  steam  was 
crowded  on  and  the  Kite 
pushed  eastward  at  her  ut- 
most speed  in  order  to 
reach  the  vicinity  of  the 
meteorites  before  a  change 
of  wind  should  shut  the 
door  in  my  face. 

As  we  penetrated  mile 
after  mile  into  the  icy  fast- 
nesses of  Melville  Bay  with- 
out finding  our  progress 
barred  by  ice,  my  hopes 
began  to  rise,  only  to  be 
dashed  again  when  we  en- 
tered Saviksoah  Bay  and 
saw  the  previous  winter's 
ice  stretching  entirely 
across  it.  It  looked  as  if 
even  after  getting  thus  far 
I  was  yet  to  be  stopped 
several  miles  away  from  the 
objects  of  my  visit.  From 
the  masthead  a  narrow  lead 
of  open  water  was  detect- 
ed penetrating  the  bay,  and 
following  this  lead  to  its 
end,  then  ramming  the  Kite 
her  length  into  the  edge  of 

The  "Saviksue"  or  Cape-York  Meteorites   563 

the  floe,  the  ice-hooks  were 
put  out  and  the  ship  made 
fast  a  mile  from  the  shore. 

No  sooner  was  this  done 
than,  with  Diebitsch  and 
Bartlett  each  armed  with  n 
boat-hook  to  assist  in  cross- 
ing the  leads  and  pools  of 
water  which  interrupted  the 
surface  of  the  ice  in  ever\ 
direction,  I  climbed  over 
the  side  of  the  Kite^  crossed 
the  ice,  reached  the  ice-foot 
at  the  head  of  the  bay,  and, 
passing  up  the  little  valley, 
stood  once  more  beside  the 
great  heaven-born  mass, 
from  which  a  little  morr 
than  a  year  before  I  had 
removed  the  deep  coverini; 
of  the  winter's  snows. 

With  the  snow  n  o  a\ 
melted  away  from  the  "  wo- 
man "  and  her  surround- 
ings, it  was  possible  to  ob- 
tain a  clear  idea  of  the 
difficulties  incident  to 
transporting  the  mass  to  the 
ship.  I  was  encouraged  to 
find  the  meteorite  was  not 
larger  than  I  had  first  esti- 
mated it  to  be  (about  5500 
lbs.),  my  excavation  of  tlic 
previous  year  having  deter- 
mined its  maximum  di- 
mensions. The  continued 
existence  of  a  large  drift  of 
compacted  snow  and  ice  in 
the  little  valley  between  it 
and  the  head  of  the  bay  was 
also  a  valuable  point  in  our 
favour.  Yet  the  several 
hundred  feet  of  distance 
intervening    between    the 

564       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice 

meteorite  and  the  upper  end  of  this  drift,  thickly  covered  with  large 
gneissose  boulders,  and  the  wide  lane  of  open  water  separating  the 
ice  in  the  bay  from  the  shore  at  the  mouth  of  the  valley,  presented 
difficulties  which  I  could  see  would  require  all  our  resources  to 

The  next  day,  Diebitsch  began  work  with  the  ship's  crew  and 
the  Eskimos  ;  the  "  woman  "  was  lifted  out  of  her  bed  with  jacks, 
and  a  rough  sledge  of  spruce  poles  made  for  the  "  dog."  On 
the  second  day,  the  "  woman  "  was  blocked  up  ready  for  transport- 
ation, and  the  "  dog  "  rolled  upon  its  sledge  and  dragged  by  the 
combined  force  of  the  ship's  crew  and  my  native  allies  over  the 
boulders  and  down   the  snow-drifts  to  the  shore  ;   then   ferried 


across  the  open  water  upon  a  cake  of  ice,  and  finallyhauled  for  a  dis- 
tance of  about  a  mile  over  the  surface  of  the  ice  in  the  bay  to  the 
ship's  side,  where  it  was  hoisted  on  board  and  deposited  in  the  hold. 
On  the  third  day  a  heavy  timber  drag  was  constructed  for  the 
"  woman,"  upon  which  she  was  placed  and  secured,  then  slowly 
transported  upon  iron  rollers  over  a  plank  tramway  laid  along  a 
rude  road-bed,  roughly  graded  by  my  Eskimos  with  the  abund- 
ance of  stones  in  the  vicinity.  In  this  way  the  meteorite  was 
brought  to  the  upper  end  of  the  snow-drift.  Then  after  mid- 
night,   when    the    surface    of    this    drift    was    frozen    firmly,    it 

The  "Saviksue"  or  Cape- York  Meteorites   565 

was  moved  down  to  the  shore,  where  a  huge  cake  of  ice,  40  ft. 
long  by  20  ft.  wide  by  7  ft.  thick,  had  been  securely  moored  to 
receive  it.  Upon  this  novel  ferry-boat  it  was  floated  across 
the  open  water  to  the  bay  ice,  and  into  a  dock  cut  to  re- 
ceive it.  Once  on  the  bay  ice,  progress  was  continued  upon 
rollers  running  on  a  plank  tramway  until  within  half  a  mile 
from  the  ship,  when  the  work  was  expedited  by  splicing  all  spare 
ropes  together  and  carrying  them  out  from  the  ship,  using  the 
winch  for  tractive  power.  As  soon  as  the  prize  was  alongside,  all 
possible  speed  was  made  in  hooking  on  to  it  with  the  ship's 
tackles  and  purchases  ;  but  before  this  could  be  completed  the 


ice  gave  way  under  the  great  weight,  leaving  the  meteorite  only 
partially  secured.  Fortunately,  the  lines  and  chains  already 
fastened  to  it  were  strong  enough  to  hold,  though  insufficient  to 
lift  it,  and  finally,  although  nearly  submerged  by  the  listing  of 
the  Kite  under  the  unbalanced  load,  additional  lines  were  at- 
tached and  the  meteorite  slowly  warped  up  to  the  rail  and  swung 
inboard.  Everyone  breathed  a  sigh  of  relief  when  the  sulky 
giant  was  safely  deposited  in  the  hold. 

The  work  of  transporting  and  embarking  these  two  masses 
was  engineered  entirely  by  Diebitsch,  and  was  accomplished  by 
him  in  a  most  able  and  effective  manner. 

While  this  work  on  the  two  smaller  meteorites  was  progressing, 

566        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

the  big  one  out  on  the  island  was  visited  and  partially  excavated 
with  a  view  to  getting  an  idea  of  its  size  and  weight. 

A  portion  of  it  about  four  feet  long  by  two  feet  high  by  one 
and  one-half  feet  wide,  projected  above  the  scant  turf  and  moss 
on  the  crest  of  a  terrace  on  the  eastern  side  of  Meteorite  Island, 
eighty  feet  above,  and  some  three  hundred  yards  distant  from 
high-water  mark.  The  excavation  developed  that  this  projection 
was  in  the  nature  of  a  dorsal  fin,  rising  from  nearly  a  flat  table 
about  twelve  feet  long  and  eight  feet  wide,  tapering  at  one  end 


to  a  point  or  tail.  The  excavation,  although  carried  down  over 
three  feet  at  this  time,  did  not  discover  the  depth  of  the  mass, 
which  was  evidently  considerable. 

Two  ten-ton  screw-jacks  which  I  applied  together  under  one 
end  and  forced  to  the  point  of  crippling  without  disturbing  the 
monster,  showed  that  not  only  our  appliances  but  the  ship  itself 
were  entirely  inadequate  for  handling  and  transporting  such  a 
huge  mass  and  concentrated  weight,  which  I  estimated  at  one 
hundred   tons.      Four  days  were  then  devoted  to  an  attempt  to 

S       3 

568        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

break  off  the  point  already  noted,  by  drilling  holes  close  together 
and  driving  in  taper  bolts.  The  toughness  of  the  metal  rendered 
the  effort  abortive,  and  the  rapid  formation  of  heavy  young  ice 
then  compelled  the  retreat  of  the  Kite  to  escape  being  frozen  in 
for  the  winter. 

With  the  two  meteorites  safely  on  board,  the  Kite  proceeded  to 
Cape  York  and  thence  to  St.  John's,  Newfoundland,  in  safety, 
though  the  presence  of  these  unusual  masses  of  iron  affected  our 
compasses  to  such  an  extent  that,  whenever  thick  or  stormy 
weather  compelled  us  for  any  length  of  time  to  depend  upon  our 
dead  reckoning,  it  was  found  impossible  to  keep  on  our  course. 

From  St.  John's,  Newfoundland,  the  meteorites  were  trans- 
ported by  steamer  to  New  York. 

WORK    ON    "  AHNIGHITO  "    IN    1896. 

Determined  to  secure  the  giant,  I  chartered  a  larger  ship,  the 
Hope,  of  307  tons  net  register,  and  went  north  in  July  of  1896 
with  more  powerful  ap])liances  on  board,  reaching  Cape  York 
August  9th.'  The  ice  in  Melville  Bay  being  not  yet  broken  up, 
I  put  in  two  weeks  north  of  Cape  York,  returning  there  the  22d 
of  August. 

The  stop  at  Cape  York  was  only  long  enough  for  me  to  take  on 
board  all  the  able-bodied  men  of  the  village,  when  the  Hope  con- 
tinued on  her  course  eastward  across  Cape-York  Bay,  and  so  on  to 
Saviksoah  Bay  and  the  eastern  side  of  Meteorite  Island,  where  we 
arrived  shortly  before  noon.  Before  we  reached  the  natural  pier 
just  below  the  meteorite,  its  dark-bronze  crest  could  be  seen  on 
the  top  of  the  terrace,  peering  out  from  the  debris  of  last  year's 
excavation.  A  barrier  of  ice-pans  packed  close  against  the  shore 
delayed  us  somewhat  in  getting  in  ;  but  outside  of  this  was  a  nar- 
row lane  of  open  water,  and  beyond  this  again  a  chain  of  grounded 
icebergs,  holding  the  still  unbroken  ice  of  Melville  Bay  in  check. 

My  full  force  of  Eskimos  was  set  to  work  at  once  with  pick  and 
shovel,  clearing  away  about  the  meteorite,  and  by  supper-time  the 
brown  monster  stood  out  in  all  its  immensity  as  to  length  and 
breadth,  though  its  depth  was  still  indeterminate.  From  this 
time  on  during  ten  days,  the  work  on  the  meteorite  was  continued 

'  On  this  voyage  the  following  gentlemen  accompanied  me  :  Prof.  A.  E. 
Burton  in  charge  of  a  party  composed  of  Professor  Barton,  Assistant  Putnam, 
of  the  U.  S  Coast  Survey,  and  Messrs.  Dodge,  Phillips,  and  Porter  ;  Prof.  R. 
S.  Tarr  in  charge  of  a  party  composed  of  Professor  Gill  and  Messrs.  Martin, 
Bonesteel,  and  Watson  ;  Mr.  Benj.  Hoppin  with  his  companion  Mr.  Suther- 
land and  their  steward.  My  personal  party  consisted  of  Albert  Operti,  artist, 
Hugh  Lee,  Mr.  Figgins,  naturalist,  and  Matthew  Henson. 

Professor  Burton  and  his  party  were  landed  at  Umanak,  Professor  Tarr  and 
party  at  Wilcox  Head. 

The  ''Saviksue"  or  Cape- York  Meteorites   569 

nightandday.  The  Captain  and  the  ship'scomplement  took  the  day 
watch,  and  I,  with  Lee,  Henson,  and  my  Eskimos,  took  the  night. 
The  first  thing  to  be  done  was  to  tear  the  heavenly  visitor  from 
its  frozen  bed  of  centuries,  and  as  it  rose  slowly  inch  by  inch  un- 
der the  resistless  lift  of  the  hydraulic  jacks,  gradually  displaying 
its  ponderous  sides,  it  grew  upon  us  as  Niagara  grows  upon  the 
observer,  and  there  was  not  one  of  us  unimpressed  by  the  enor- 
mousness  of  this  lump  of  metal.  The  expressions  of  the  Eski- 
mos about  the  "  Saviksoah  "  (the  great  iron)  were  low  but  earnest, 
and  it,  and  the  other  wonderful  great  irons  (the  jacks)  which 
could  tear  it  from  its  bed,  awed  them  to  the  utmost.' 


Sliding  the  meteorite  upon  steel  rails  laid  upon  heavy  timbers 
across  the  few  yards  intervening  between  it  and  the  crest  of  the 
hill,  it  was  then  rolled  down  the  slope  to  the  natural  rock-pier. 

It  was  interesting,  though  irritating,  to  watch  the  stubbornness 
of  the  monster  as  it  sulked  and  hung  back  to  the  last  inch.  Un- 
der the  strain  of  the  two  powerful  chain  blocks  which  transformed 
the  wire  cable  and  the  big  chain  straps  into  rigid  bars  of  steel, 
and  urged  by  the  resistless  lift  of  the  jacks,  the  huge  brown  mass 

'  In  this  work  my  sixty-ton  jack,  a  second-hand  affair,  gave  out  after  the  first 
lift,  and,  as  I  had  no  appliances  for  repairing  it,  it  remained  useless  from  this 
time  on,  depriving  me  of  nearly  one-third  of  my  total  power. 

570        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice 

would  slowly  and  stubbornly  rise  on  its  side,  and  be  forced  to  a 
position  of  unstable  equilibrium  ;  then  everyone,  except  the  men 
at  the  chain  blocks  down  at  the  foot  of  the  hill,  would  stand  aside. 
A  few  more  pulls  on  these,  then  cable  and  the  chain  straps  would 
slacken,  the  top  of  the  meteorite  would  move  almost  impercepti- 
bly forward,  the  stones  under  the  edge  of  revolution  would  begin 
to  splinter  and  crumble,  then,  amidst  the  shouts  of  the  natives 
and  our  own  suppressed  breathing,  the  "  Iron  Mountain  "  would 
roll  over.     When  it  struck  the  ground  the  harder  rocks  would 

elicit  streams  of 
sparks  from  its 
brown  surface  be- 
fore they  crumbled, 
the  softer  ones  would 
dissolve  into  dust 
and  smoke,  and  the 
giant  would  bury 
itself  half  its  depth 
in  the  earth  with  the 
slow,  resistless  mo- 
tion of  a  hydraulic 
punch  cutting  cold 
iron,  then  lunge  sud- 
denly forward  a  few 
feet,  throwing  up  a 
dam  of  earth  and 
stones  before  it  like 
the  terminal  mo- 
raine of  a  glacier. 

Arrived  at  the  bot- 
tom of  the  slope,  the 
meteorite  was  again 
lifted  upon  the  rails 
and  timbers,  and 
slowly  and  labor- 
iously pushed  for- 
ward towards  the 
edge  of  the  pier. 

Never  have  I  had 
the   terrific   majesty 
ROAD  FOR  THE  METEORITE.  of  the  force  of  grav- 

ity and  the  meaning 
of  the  terms  "  momentum  "  and  "  inertia"  so  powerfully  brought 
home  to   me,   as   in   handling  this  mountain   of  iron.      No  pur- 

The  "Saviksue"  or  Cape- York  Meteorites   571 

chase  or  appliance  which  we  could  bring  to  bear  upon  it, 
outside  of  the  jacks,  made  the  slightest  impression  upon  it. 
When  lowered  slowly  upon  heavy  timber  blocking  by  the  jacks, 
it  settled  resistlessly  into  the  wood  until  it  seemed  as  if  it 
would  never  stop.  The  timber  creaked  and  groaned  in  every 
fibre,  and  in  the  immediate  vicinity  of  the  pressure  its  structure 
was  entirely  destroyed  and  it  became  a  mass  of  incoherent  fibres. 
If  the  meteorite  slipped  and  fell  even  for  half  an  inch,  as  it  fre- 
quently would,  in  spite  of  every  precaution,  it  would  bite  into  the 
steel  rails  like  a  punch,  and  the  rail  itself  would  sink  into  the 


timber  beneath,  if  near  the  middle,  or  crush  through  it  if  near 
the  end.  The  inherent  deviltry  of  inanimate  objects  was  never 
more  strikingly  illustrated  than  in  this  monster.  Had  the  matter 
been  a  subject  of  study  for  weeks  by  the  celestial  forge-master,  I 
doubt  if  any  shape  could  have  been  devised  that  would  have 
been  any  more  completely  ill  suited  for  handling  in  any  way, 
either  rolling  or  sliding  or  lifting. 

The  difficulties  in  getting  a  hold  on  it  were  also  great.  The 
shallowness  of  the  conchoidal  depressions  on  the  surface  left  but 
few  places  where  a  jack  could  be  applied.  Even  where  it  was  pos- 
sible to  get  a  grip  with  the  head  of  the  jack,  the  hardness  of  the 

572        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

metal,  combined  with  the  excessive  pressure,  and  the  shifting  angle 
of  contact  between  the  jack  and  the  surface  of  the  meteorite,  as 
the  latter  changed  its  position,  necessitated  following  the  mass 
up  closely  with  block  and  wedges,  so  that  if  the  head  of  the  jack, 
like  a  melon-seed  pressed  between  thumb  and  finger,  flew  out 
with  serious  risk  to  adjacent  legs  and  arms,  the  meteorite  could 
not  fall  back.  In  spite  of  every  precaution,  however,  this  some- 
times happened,  and  I  have  a  half-inch  steel  link  on  which  the 
meteorite  fell  a  distance  of  perhaps  an  inch,  which  is  flattened  as 
if  it  were  so  much  lead.  These  terrific  blows  were  too  much  for 
my  two  thirty-ton  jacks,  which,  owing  to  the  failure  of  the  sixty- 
ton  one,  had  been  constantly  working  beyond  their  capacity,  and 
they  gradually  gave  out,  until  at  last  I  had  only  the  unwieldy 
hundred-ton  one  left.  Then  progress  became  so  slow  that  be- 
fore I  could  get  the  meteorite  close  to  the  edge  of  the  pier  a  furi- 
ous south-easter  broke  up  my  iceberg  barrier,  and  the  pack  ice 
of  Melville  Bay  driving  in  upon  the  shore  forced  us  to  pull  the 
ship  out  with  haste  to  avoid  having  her  crushed  like  an  eggshell 
against  the  rocks. 

During  all  this  time  it  was  an  impressive  sight  to  see  the  Hope 
lying  quietly  beside  the  natural  rock-pier,  with  her  mooring  lines 
out,  waiting  for  her  cargo  as  if  at  home,  yet  everywhere  about 
her  a  wilderness  of  ice  and  bergs  and  savage  snow-capped 

During  the  first  of  our  stay  here  the  weather  was  clear,  and 
there  was  light  enough  for  us  to  work  continuously  through  the 
night.  Then  it  came  on  much  colder,  and  the  young  ice  began 
to  form  and  increase  rapidly  in  thickness.  The  effect  of  the 
drop  in  temperature  upon  the  fleet  of  Melville-Bay  icebergs 
outside  of  us  was  startling.  Throughout  one  brilliant  biting 
night,  the  crash  and  roar  of  their  convulsions  was  almost  con- 
tinuous, and  the  huge  swells  caused  by  their  foundering  kept 
the  Hope  tossing  and  surging  heavily  at  her  moorings.  Sunrise 
on  such  a  morning  was  a  magnificent  spectacle,  the  yellow  disk 
of  the  sun  rising  from  behind  the  savage  peaks  which  mark  the 
line  of  the  heart  of  Melville  Bay,  and  painting  the  slopes  of  the 
eternal  ice-cap  above  us  an  exquisite  pink.  Then  this  clear 
cold  weather  gave  way  to  a  few  days  and  nights  of  fog  and  snow, 
followed  by  the  south-easter  already  mentioned.  The  fog  and 
storm,  combined  with  the  rapidly  shortening  autumn  days,  made 
it  too  dark  to  work  at  night. 

There  were  many  incidents  of  the  work  to  suggest  the  super- 
natural even  to  the  most  prosaic  mind.  The  dogged  sullen 
obstinacy    and    enormous    inertia    of    the     giant    against    being 

The  ''Saviksue"  or  Cape- York  Meteorites   573 

moved  ;  its  utter  contempt  and  disregard  of  all  attempts  to  guide 
or  control  it  when  once  in  motion  ;  and  the  remorseless  way  in 
which  it  destroyed  everything  opposed  to  it,  seemed  demoniac. 

I  remember  one  particularly  striking  occasion.  It  was  the  last 
night  of  our  stay  at  the  island, — a  night  of  such  savage  wildness 
as  is  possible  only  in  the  Arctic  regions.  In  spite  of  the  driv- 
ing storm,  it  kept  artist  Operti  running  up  out  of  the  warmth 
and  light  of  the  cabin,  upon  the  snow-covered  deck,  to  feast  his 


eyes  upon  the  scene.  The  wild  gale  was  howling  out  of  the  depth 
of  Melville  Bay  through  the  Hopes  rigging,  and  the  snow  was  driv- 
ing in  horizontal  lines.  The  white  slopes  of  the  hill  down  which 
the  meteorite  had  been  brought,  showed  a  ghastly  grey  through 
the  darkness  ;  the  fire,  round  which  the  fur-clad  forms  of  the 
Eskimos  were  grouped,  spread  its  bright  red  glare  for  a  short 
distance  ;  a  little  to  one  side  was  a  faint  glow  of  light  through 
the  skin  wall  of  a  solitary  tupik.     Working  about  the  meteorite 

574        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

was  my  own  little  party,  and  in  the  foreground  the  central 
figure,  the  raison  d'etre  of  it  all,  the  "  Saviksoah,"  the  "  Iron 
Mountain,"  towering  above  the  human  figures  about  it,  and 
standing  out  black  and  uncompromising.  While  everything  else 
was  buried  in  the  snow,  the  "  Saviksoah  "  was  unaffected.  The 
great  flakes  vanished  as  they  touched  it,  and  the  effect  was  very 
impressive.  It  was  as  if  the  giant  were  saying  :  "  I  am  apart  from 
all  this,  I  am  heaven-born,  and  still  carry  in  my  heart  some  of 
the  warmth  of  those  long-gone  days  before  I  was  hurled  upon 
this  frozen  desert."  To  strengthen  this  fancy  that  the  meteorite 
still  held  some  of  its  celestial  fire  and  feeling,  if  a  sledge,  ill  aimed 
in  the  darkness  at  wedge  or  block,  chanced  to  strike  it,  a  spouting 
jet  of  scintillating  sparks  lit  the  gloom,  and  a  deep  note,  sonor- 
ous as  a  bell,  a  polar  tocsin,  or  the  half-pained,  half-enraged  bel- 
low of  a  lost  soul,  answered  the  blow. 

Through  all  this  time  of  labour  and  exposure,  my  Eskimo  allies 
worked  faithfully  and  contentedly,  sleeping  between  decks  when 
they  could  find  time.  They  assisted  in  every  possible  way,  and 
neverinterposed  theslightest  objection  tomyremoval  of  their  heav- 
enly guest, — in  fact,  seemed  almost  as  disappointed  as  I  when  the 
insweeping  ice  compelled  me  to  give  up  my  prize  till  another  time. 

As  soon  as  the  Hope  was  free  of  the  ice,  she  steamed  into  the 
little  bight  where  the  Kite  had  lain  to  embark  the  two  smaller 
meteorites  the  previous  summer,  and  the  anchor  was  dropped 
till  daylight  and  the  cessation  of  the  storm  should  enable  us  to 
see  our  way  back  to  Cape  York.  From  Cape  York  the  voyage 
was  continued  home  and  Sydney,  C.  B.,  reached  late  in  September. 

SECURING    "  AHNIGHITO  "    IN     1897. 

Disappointed,  but  not  discouraged  by  my  non-success  in  em- 
barking the  meteorite,  I  again  put  on  board  the  Hope  in  1897, 
when  I  went  north  in  her  to  communicate  with  my  Eskimos, 
powerful  appliances  with  the  view  of  giving  the  giant  another 
fight  if  the  Melville-Bay  ice  would  permit  me  to  get  near  him.' 

'  On  this  1897  voyage  the  following  gentlemen  accompanied  me  :  Prof. 
Schuchert  of  the  National  Museum,  with  his  party,  consisting  of  Prof.  White 
and  Mr.  Stickney,  Mr.  Robert  Stein,  of  the  U.  S.  Geological  Survey  ;  Mr. 
Porter  with  his  party,  consisting  of  Dr.  Fitzgerald,  his  son,  Messrs  White, 
Goodrich,  Shaw,  Boal,  and  Carpenter.  Mr.  Jensen,  the  Dane  whom  I  brought 
to  this  country  in  1S96,  returned  to  his  station  at  Cape  Haven.  My  own  party 
consisted  of  Mrs.  Peary,  our  little  girl  Ahnighito  with  her  nurse,  artist  Operti, 
Mr.  Perry,  my  young  friends  Arthur  Moore  and  Lansing  Baldwin,  Dr.  Fred. 
Sohon,  Mr.  Figgins,  naturalist,  and  Matthew  Henson.  Hugh  Lee  with  his 
bride  spent  their  honeymoon  at  Godhavn.  Mr.  Porter  and  party  were  landed 
at  Cape  Haven,  Prof.  Schuchert  and  party  at  Umanak,  and  Mr.  Stein  at 

The  "Saviksue"  or  Cape-York  Meteorites   575 

Arriving  at  Cape  York  the  12th  of  August,  the  ice  conditions 
of  Melville  Bay  were  found  to  be  favourable  to  an  immediate  ap- 
proach to  the  meteorite,  and  instant  advantage  was  taken  of  these 
conditions  to  force  the  Hope  again  to  her  berth  alongside  the 
natural  rock-pier  on  Meteorite  Island. 

My  ten  days'  work  on  the  "  Saviksoah  "  in  1896  had  given  me 
a  very  thorough  acquaintance  with  its  peculiarities  and  perversi- 
ties, and  had  emphasised  to  me  the  full  meaning  of  its  concen- 
trated weight,  its  intractable  shape,  and  its  almost  resistless  inertia. 


I  felt,  however,  the  utmost  confidence  that  the  equipment  that  I 
had  brought  with  me,  the  powerful  hydraulic  jacks,  the  magnifi- 
cent oak  timbers  (the  best  that  could  be  bought),  the  heavy  steel 
rails,  the  bolts,  chains,  and  tools  of  various  kinds,  all  of  the  best 
quality,  would  enable  me  to  bring  it  safely  on  board,  provided 
the  hostile  Arctic  ice  would  allow  me  to  get  near  it. 

This  year  as  I  neared  the  locality  again  the  outlook  was  at  first 
disheartening.  There  was  much  less  open  water  and  double  the 
number  of  bergs  that  I  had  found  last  year,  but,  much  to  my  re- 
lief, by  butting  a  passage  through  two  or  three  icy  barriers,  and 
after  grounding  twice  from  being  forced  to  the  shore  by  the  ice, 
the  Hope  was  brought  alongside  the  natural  rock-pier  where  I  had 
left  the  meteorite  a  year  before. 

57^       Northward  over  the  **  Great  Ice" 

In  spite  of  this  good  fortune,  the  ship's  position  and  surround- 
ings were  such  as  to  cause  disquietude  even  in  the  mind  of  a 
man  who  had  seen  some  Arctic  experience,  and  to  a  novice  were 
discouraging  to  the  verge  of  fear.  The  rocky  shore  to  which 
the  ship  was  made  fast  lay  fully  exposed  and  absolutely  unpro- 
tected against  the  resistless  pressure  of  the  Melville-Bay  ice-pack 
under  the  stress  of  south-east  winds  :  the  open  water  through 
which  we  had  crept  close  along  the  shore  was  scarcely  more 
than  a  ship's  length  in  width,  was  already  coated  with  young  ice, 
and  outside  of  it  lay  an  indescribable  labyrinth  of  icebergs, 
through  which  even  the  practised  eye  could  not  discover  an  open- 
ing. To  add  to  the  dismal  outlook  and  the  mental  unrest  of 
many  on  board,  we  forged  alongside  the  meteorite  in  a  driving 
snow-storm  that  twelve  hours  later  had  covered  our  little  world  a 
foot  deep  in  snow,  and  formed  upon  the  water  a  thick  covering 
of  slush,  which  forty-eight  hours  of  severe  cold  would  trans- 
form into  unbreakable  fetters  for  the  Hope.  No  one  who  was 
not  present  can  form  any  idea  of  the  savageness  and  hostile  as- 
pect of  the  scene.  There  were  good  reasons  for  the  belief  that 
the  Arctic  winter  had  already  set  in. 

Fortunately  the  natural  features  of  the  shore,  at  the  site  of  the 
meteorite,  were  uniquely  favourable  for  getting  it  on  board  the 
ship,  and  my  previous  summer's  work  had  left  the  huge  mass 
close  to  the  edge  of  the  natural  rock-pier,  with  sufficient  depth  of 
water  alongside  to  allow  the  ship  to  be  brought  within  about 
eighteen  feet  of  the  shore. 

I  proposed  to  construct  a  very  strong  bridge,  reaching  from 
the  shore  across  the  ship  ;  lay  the  heaviest  steel  rails  upon  this, 
and  then,  after  depositing  the  meteorite  upon  a  massive  timber 
car  resting  upon  these  rails,  slide  the  huge  mass  across  the  bridge 
until  it  rested  directly  over  the  main  hatch  ;  remove  the  bridge  ; 
then  lower  the  meteorite  with  my  hydraulic  jacks  through  the 
hatchway  to  the  ship's  hold. 

This  was  simple  enough  in  theory,  yet  when  such  an  enormous 
and  concentrated  mass  is  concerned,  every  detail  of  construction 
must  be  of  the  most  massive  character,  and  every  detail  of  manip- 
ulation studied  with  the  utmost  care. 

The  transferring  of  such  an  enormous  weight  from  the  unyield- 
ing support  of  the  shore  to  the  yielding  and  continuously  chang- 
ing support  of  the  ship,  with  the  shifting  and  complicated  strains 
resulting  from  the  rise  and  fall  of  the  tide,  the  varying  displace- 
ment of  the  ship  with  the  increasing  load,  and  her  listing  with  the 
unbalanced  weight  as  it  came  upon  her  rail,  all  demanded  the 
most  careful  thought  and  study. 

578        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

The  first  thing  was  to  prepare  the  ship  for  receiving  her  pon- 
derous and  unusual  freight,  so  as  to  insure  against  the  possibility 
of  any  mishap,  and  cause  as  little  strain  and  reduction  of  her 
stability  as  might  be. 

To  accomplish  this,  all  the  coal  remaining  amidships  was 
hoisted  out  and  put  in  the  bunkers  ;  heavy  oak  timbers  laid  fore 
and  aft  on  either  side  of  the  keelson  ;  then  the  entire  amidships 
space  filled  with  coarse,  heavy  ballast  up  to  the  deck  beams,  and 
in  the  centre,  directly  under  the  main  hatch,  some  two  feet 
higher.  The  'twe^n-deck  beams  were  carefully  wedged  and 
blocked  up  upon  this  ballast,  and  the  main  deck  throughout  the 
ship's  waist  supported  from  them  by  a  small  forest  of  twelve-inch 
posts  kept  in  position  by  systems  of  horizontal  struts  and  braces. 

The  object  of  the  ballast  was  to  increase  the  inertia  and  stabil- 
ity of  the  ship  ;  absorb  and  distribute  the  shock  in  case,  through 
any  mishap,  the  meteorite  should  be  allowed  to  drop  ;  and  finally 
to  serve  as  a  firm  bed  and  matrix  for  the  enormous  mass  during 
the  homeward  journey.  The  posts  were  to  enable  the  deck  to 
sustain  the  great  load  while  in  transit  without  collapsing,  and  also 
form  a  rectangular  shaft  downward  from  the  main  hatch,  so  that 
the  meteorite  would  be  compelled  to  descend  into  the  hold  with- 
out the  possibility  of  shifting  laterally. 

This  work  accomplished  below  decks,  an  almost  continuous 
floor  of  heavy  timber  was  laid  on  deck,  so  as  to  distribute  the 
weight  of  the  meteorite  and  bridge  over  some  twenty-five  feet  of 
the  ship's  length. 

With  the  exception  of  a  few  minor  details  to  be  noted  later, 
and  the  secure  mooring  of  the  ship  to  the  rocks  with  all  her 
cables  and  hawsers,  this  completed  the  preparation  of  the  ship. 

The  backbone  of  my  bridge  consisted  of  two  royal  sticks  of 
fourteen-inch  by  sixteen-inch  white  oak,  sixty  feet  long,  straight- 
grained,  tough,  and  well  seasoned,  which  were  to  span  the  gap 
between  the  ship  and  the  shore,  reach  well  under  the  meteorite 
at  one  end,  and  across  the  ship  at  the  other. 

A  third  stick  of  timber  twelve  by  twelve  inches  and  thirty  inches 
long,  re-enforced  these  in  the  span  from  the  ship  to  the  shore, 
and  the  whole  was  bound  rigidly  together  by  heavy  timber  cross- 
heads  and  spreaders,  bolted  through  and  through  by  powerful 
screw  bolts  of  the  best  Swedish  iron. 

The  inshore  end  of  this  bridge  rested  continuously  upon  the 
rocks  and  gravel.  The  shipboard  end  was  almost  continuously 
supported  by  the  heavy  timbers  on  deck.  The  span  from  the 
ship  to  the  shore  was  re-enforced  and  strongly  trussed  with  the 
ship's  steel-wire  cable  and  posts  of  twelve-inch  timbers. 

The  "Saviksue"  or  Cape- York  Meteorites    579 

The  work  of  preparing  the  ship  had  been  entrusted  to  Captain 
Bartlett,  and  had  been  elfected  in  the  most  thorough  and  seaman- 
like manner.  The  assembling  of  the  bridge  had  been  done  by  the 
engineer  force  under  Chief  Hunter,  and  the  setting  up  of  the 
steel  cable  of  the  truss  I  had  assigned  to  Mr.  Taylor,  the  first 
mate,  a  thoroughly  practical  seaman,  who  had  accomplished  it  in 
a  most  effective  manner.  My  faithful  Eskimos  were  useful 
wherever  any  lifting  had  to  be  done,  and  the  gentlemen  members 
of  the  party,  in  their  interest  and  enthusiasm,  lent  a  hand  when- 
ever they  could  see  a  chance. 


The  assembling  of  the  bridge  had  of  necessity  to  be  done  in 
place,  as  the  big  oak  timbers  weighed  some  three  tons  each,  and 
the  completed  structure  would  be  too  heavy  for  the  ship's  tackle 
to  handle.  These  were  launched  separately  under  the  meteorite, 
which  had  previously  been  raised  for  the  purpose,  and  supported 
upon  blocks  at  each  extreme  end. 

Scarcely  had  they  been  so  placed  and  the  work  of  assembling 
commenced,  when  a  huge  iceberg  in  the  labyrinth  outside  of  us 
went  to  pieces,  sending  a  succession  of  heavy  swells  in  upon  the 
shore.     On  these  the  Hope  rolled  and  danced  like  a  cork,  jerking 

580        Northward  over  the  *'  Great  Ice  " 

viciously  at  lier  moorings  and  keeping  me  in  a  fever  of  anxiety 
during  minutes  which  seemed  like  hours,  knowing  as  I  did  if  one 
of  the  lines  parted,  the  great  timbers,  with  one  end  still  resting 
upon  the  Hope's  heaving  deck,  would  act  as  irresistible  levers  to 
pry  the  blocks  from  under  the  meteorite  and  let  it  topple  over 
the  edge  of  the  pier  into  the  water.  It  was  with  the  utmost  re- 
lief that  I  saw  the  swells  gradually  subside,  and  yet  the  occurrence 
kept  me  in  a  state  of  apprehension  for  the  next  forty-eight  hours, 
until  I  had  the  meteorite  firmly  mounted  upon  its  car  and  rest- 
ing its  full  weight  upon  the  inshore  end  of  the  bridge. 

The  same  thing  might  again  occur  at  any  moment,  and  I  remem- 

Figgins,  Peary,  Bartlett,  Hunter,  Operti. 

bered  with  unpleasant  vividness  an  entire  night  last  year  during 
which  the  Hope  tossed  and  tugged  at  her  lines  like  a  wild  animal, 
upon  the  continuous  swells  caused  by  the  disrupted  icebergs 
about  her. 

Previous  to  launching  the  timbers  to  the  shore,  the  edge  of  the 
pier  had  been  carefully  levelled  and  a  heavy  timber  bridge  seat 
laid  upon  it.  The  earth  and  rock  back  of  this  had  been  graded 
and  tamped  to  afford  a  firm  bearing. 

The  assembling  of  the  bridge,  and  the  stringing  of  the  cable 
truss  completed,  the  thirty-foot  standard  steel  rails  of  the  New 
York,  New  Haven,  and  Hartford  R.  R.,  weighing  one   hundred 

582        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

pounds  to  the  yard,  were  hoisted  out  and  laid  in  pairs,  side  by  side, 
on  each  of  the  oak  timbers,  with  their  inshore  ends  coming  just 
through  under  the  meteorite,  and  the  other  ends  coming  just  in- 
board of  the  Hopes  starboard  rail.  Two  fifteen-feet  lengths  of 
rail  continued  the  track  across  the  main  hatch,  and  then  all  were 
fastened  down  with  numerous  spikes. 

The  massive  timber  car,  clamped  together  like  the  bridge,  by 
heavy  screw  bolts,  and  sheathed  underneath  with  steel  plates, 
was  then  hoisted  upon  the  rails,  and  pushed  out  against  the 
meteorite  ;    some  of  the   timbers   were   removed  ;    the    front    of 


the  meteorite  jacked  up  till  the  half  of  the  car  could  be  forced 
under  it  ;  then  this  part  lowered,  the  rear  raised,  the  other  tim- 
bers of  the  car  placed  in  position,  and  the  car  bolted  firmly  to- 
gether again,  then  the  meteorite  was  finally  lowered  to  its  position 
on  the  car. 

As  the  plungers  of  the  powerful  jacks  retreated  into  their  cas- 
ings upon  the  opening  of  the  valves,  transferring  the  mighty 
weight  entirely  to  the  car,  every  projection  on  the  underneath 
side  of  the  meteorite  buried  itself  in  the  solid  timber,  the  joints 
closed  up  till  almost  invisible,  every  inequality  in  the  steel 
sheathing   beneath    the   car  flattened   out,  the  bases  of  the  rails 

The  "Saviksue"  or  Cape- York  Meteorites  583 

sank  perceptibly  into  the  oak  stringers,  and  the  earth  and  gravel 
beneath  these,  settled  and  compressed  into  rock-like  solidity. 

Then  the  monster  was  lashed  to  the  car  by  fathom  after  fathom 
and  turn  after  turn  of  steel  chains,  tightened  by  oak  wedges,  un- 
til it  and  the  car  M'ere  inseparable. 

The  next  thing  was  to  adjust  the  ship  in  precisely  the  right 
position,  with  the  bridge  centred,  to  an  inch,  over  the  main 
hatch,  for  the  opening  of  the  hatch  was  scarcely  large  enough  to 
admit  the  meteorite,  and  the  least  error  in  the  position  of  it,  and 
the  car,  when  it  came  in  over  the  hatch,  would  necessitate  much 
trouble  in  shifting  it.  By  careful  manipulation  of  the  cables  to 
the  anchors,  and  the  stern  and  bow  lines  and  springs,  which  were 


made  fast  to  the  rocks  ashore,  the  Hope  was  finally  adjusted  to  a 
nicety,  the  shipboard  end  of  the  bridge  lashed  down  to  eye-bolts 
in  the  deck  and  down  on  the  starboard  side,  then  cables  and 
mooring  lines  were  all  set  taut  and  carefully  stopped. 

While  this  was  being  done,  a  ten-  or  fifteen-ton  counterpoise 
was  being  loaded  on  the  inshore  end  of  the  bridge  behind  the 
meteorite,  with  the  old  timbers  and  rails  of  last  year  for  a  plat- 
form, and  big  gneissose  boulders  for  weights. 

The  ship's  heaviest  tackles  were  then  attached  to  the  car,  and 
the  ends  carried  to  the  drums  of  the  steam  winch.  The  hydrau- 
lic jacks  were  also  placed  in  position  behind  the  car,  with  their 
bases  working  against  the  heavy  cross-head. 

584        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Nothing  remained  now  but  to  clear  the  Hopes  waist  of  every- 
thing, except  tools  and  materials  needed  while  bringing  the  me- 
teorite on  board,  slush  the  rails  with  a  thick  mixture  of  tallow 
and  soap,  then  await  the  proper  stage  of  the  tide,  start  the  huge 
mass  with  the  jacks,  and  warp  it  inboard  with  the  tackles,  if  they 
could  handle  it,  or,  if  not,  jack  it  the  entire  distance. 

This  matter  of  the  tide  was  an  extremely  important  one,  and 
I  am  indebted  to  my  young  assistants,  iirthur  Moore  and  Lans- 
ing Baldwin,  for  their  assiduous,  hourly  readings  of  the  tide 
through  storm  and  darkness,  and  plotting  the  tidal  curves  from 
the  time  the  Hope  came  alongside  the  meteorite,  so  that  now  I 
knew  to  a  nicety  at  just  what  time  the  tide  would  serve  me. 

At  last  the  tide  was  right,  and  while  Mrs.  Peary  and  Captain 
Bartlett,  at  the  levers  of  the  jacks,  started  the  monster,  draped  in 
"  Old  Glory,"  toward  the  ship,  the  baby  dashed  a  little  bottle 
of  wine  against  it  and  named  it  "  Ahnighito."  Then  the  jacks, 
manned  by  the  engine-room  force,  pushed  it  steadily  forward  to 
the  edge  of  the  pier. 

Every  man  on  board  had  his  station  and  knew  his  work.  The 
Captain  had  charge  of  the  winch  and  tackles,  the  chief  engineer 
of  the  jacks,  and  men  were  stationed  at  the  lashings  to  slush  the 
rails,  etc.,  while  I  kept  an  eye  on  everything. 

As  the  jacks  moved  the  meteorite  to  the  edge  of  the  pier,  the 
winch  started,  setting  the  heavy  tackles  taut,  and  the  huge  mon- 
ster, in  a  series  of  short  jumps,  crept  out  upon  the  bridge. 

At  this  moment,  every  Eskimo  on  board  went  over  the  stern 
gangplank  to  the  shore.  With  all  their  confidence  in  me,  and 
their  awe  for  the  size  and  power  of  the  ship,  which  they  had  re- 
peatedly seen  smashing  her  way  through  the  pack  ice,  and  even 
battering  pieces  off  the  bergs  themselves  when  they  opposed  her, 
they  could  not  overcome  a  superstitious  fear  that  the  mountain- 
ous weight  of  the  "  heaven  stone  "  would  crush  the  ooniiaksoah 
(ship),  and  they  preferred  to  say  farewell  to  it  from  the  shore. 

When  the  meteorite  reached  the  centre  of  the  bridge,  a  master 
might  have  played  a  grand  march  with  the  tense  strands  of  the 
steel  cable  for  violin  strings.  When  it  reached  the  rail,  the  Hope 
began  to  careen,  but  not  seriously,  and  the  men  stationed  at  the 
lashings  took  in  every  inch  of  slack  the  moment  it  appeared. 

In  an  hour  from  the  time  it  started,  a  motion  of  my  hand 
stopped  the  winch  with  the  meteorite  precisely  over  the  main 
hatch.  Three  cheers  went  up  from  everyone  on  ship  and 
ashore,  and  the  glorious  Stars  and  Stripes  and  the  ship's  flags 
went  flying  to  the  mastheads. 

As  matters  now  stood,  the  Hope  was  heeling  toward  the  shore, 

The  "Saviksue"  or  Cape-York  Meteorites  585 

and  the  bridge  had  a  pronounced  gradient.  The  next  step  was  to 
get  the  bridge  out  of  the  way.  This  had  already  been  provided 
for.  Two  of  the  jacks  were  brought  on  board,  pumped  up  to 
their  full  height,  placed  on  the  deck  timbers  under  each  of  the 
oak  stringers  just  inboard  of  the  rail  joints,  then  the  cross- 
cut saws  were  brought  into  requisition,  inserted  in  the  rail 
joints  intentionally  left  open,  and  the  bridge  sawed  clear  through 
some  three  feet  inside  the  Hope's  rail. 

As  the  saw  passed  nearly  through  the  last  timber,  a  long  crack 


split  out  into  each  part,  and  Mr.  Figgins,  the  naturalist,  seizing  a 
broad  axe,  jumped  upon  the  rail,  and  with  a  blow  or  two  severed 
the  last  connection  of  the  "  great  iron  "  with  the  land.  After 
years  of  rest  it  was  to  resume  its  wanderings. 

I  had  anticipated  that  the  Hope  would  right  herself  suddenly 
when  the  bridge  was  severed,  with  something  in  the  nature  of  a 
Icick,  but  had  endeavoured  to  provide  against  it  as  much  as 
possible.  Fortunately  these  precautions  were  successful.  As 
the  saws  went  through,  the  Hope  righted  herself  slowly  and 
quietly  to  an  even  keel,  and  the  heavy  stone  counterpoise  ashore 

586        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

held  the  severed  bridge  projecting  like  a  cantilever.  The  valves 
of  the  jacks  were  opened,  and  the  portion  of  the  bridge  under 
the  meteorite  sank  till  it  rested  true  and  level  across  the  ship's 
waist.  It  was  now  six  p.m.,  of  Friday,  August  20th.  We  had 
been  engaged  upon  the  meteorite  five  days,  working  throughout 
the  entire  day  and  much  of  the  night,  and  during  this  entire  time, 
from  the  moment  the  Hope  came  alongside  the  meteorite  in  a 
blinding  storm,  it  had  been  one  constant  succession  of  fog  and 
driving  snow.  This  not  only  retarded  the  work  very  seriously, 
but  had  a  pronounced  dampening  effect  upon  the  spirits  of  the 
men,  particularly  the  superstitious  sailors,  some  of  whom  had  been 


with  me  last  year  and  called  this  regular  meteorite  weather. 
They  insisted  that  the  brown  monster  was  hoodooed,  that  I  would 
never  get  it  on  board,  or  if  I  did  we  should  never  get  it  home,  as  it 
would  surely  take  the  ship  to  the  bottom.  These  same  ones 
were  in  the  habit  daily  of  looking  over  the  rail  at  the  labyrinth  of 
bergs  about  us,  and  the  steadily  forming  young  ice,  and  prophesy- 
ing that  even  if  the  meteorite  did  not  smash  the  ship  in  coming 
aboard,  we  should  certainly  be  frozen  in  and  have  to  spend  the 
winter  here. 

Under  the  circumstances  I  could  certainly  almost  forgive 
their  associating  supernatural  agencies  with  the  meteorite,  and  it 
was  a  strange  but  actual  and  unexaggerated  fact  that,  as  the  great 

The  "Saviksue"  or  Cape-York  Meteorites   58/^ 

mass  crept  slowly  over  the  bridge  and  across  the  ship's  rail,, 
patches  of  blue  sky  appeared  overhead  ;  and  when  at  last  it 
rested  safely  over  the  main  hatch,  the  last  tie  which  bound  it  to 
the  land  completely  severed,  the  horizontal  rays  of  the  low  mid- 
night sun  burst  past  the  cliffs  of  Signal  Mountain,  fell  upon  the 
meteorite,  changing  it  into  molten  bronze,  flooded  the  countless 
icebergs  east  of  us  in  light,  and  bathed  the  ragged  black  crests  and 
flowing  ice-domes  of  Imnahlooksoah  and  Nahgloktoo,  the  savage 
mountains  of  Prince  Regent's  Bay,  in  unspeakable  tints  of  rose  and 

\    "■^^^'■':0, 


yellow.  It  was  as  if  the  demon  of  the  "  Saviksoah  "  had  fought 
a  losing  fight,  accepted  the  result,  and  yielded  gracefully. 

The  congratulations  that  evening  in  the  cabin  of  the  Hope 
were  numerous  and  earnest. 

By  the  middle  of  the  next  afternoon  the  car  was  lowered  into 
the  hatch  combings,  and  in  a  safe  position  for  the  ship  to  steam  in 
smooth  water,  which  we  were  certain  to  have  in  this  region  with 
all  the  icebergs  about  us.  At  five  o'clock,  the  last  lines  were 
cast  off,  and  the  Hope  steamed  away  for  the  last  time  from  the 
shore  of  Meteorite  Island. 

Throughout   the  forenoon   and    early  part  of  the  afternoon,  it 


The  "Saviksue"  or  Cape-York  Meteorites   589 

had  been  snowing  again,  and  rny  superstitious  sailors  said  that  we 
should  never  have  clear  weather  until  the  hatches  covered  the 
brown  demon  crouching  amidships  completely  from  the  light  of 
day.  As  we  started,  it  cleared,  however,  and  offered  a  striking 
contrast  to  last  year,  when  in  a  driving  south-easter  I  swung  away 
from  the  same  place  in  feverish  haste,  in  order  to  escape  having 
the  ship  crushed  by  the  resistless  Melville-Bay  ice-pack,  leaving 
the  big  brown  demon  perched  derisively  upon  the  shore.  Now  the 
persistence  of  three  years  had  won,  and  at  last  I  had  the  prize  on 

Yet  my  risks  and  uncertainties  were  not  yet  ended.     During  our 


Stay  at  Meteorite  Island,  the  young  ice  had  formed  in  every  inter- 
val of  calm,  the  last  day's  snow-storm  had  cemented  everv'thing 
with  a  thick  leathery  stratum  of  slush,  and  the  almost  continuous 
south-easterly  wind  had  been  steadily  compacring  the  icebergs 
and  forcing  them  nearer  and  nearer  to  the  shore.  Just  before 
starting.  Captain  Bartlett  and  myself  reconnoitred  the  bay  from 
the  top  of  the  island,  and  saw  that  there  was  but  one  practicable 
route  of  escape,  and  even  by  that  we  should  be  obliged  to  force  a 
barrier  of  bergs.  A  short  distance  from  the  shore  of  the  island, 
we  entered  a  lead  formed  by  the  tide,  and  soon  reached  the  bar- 
rier which  separated  us  from  comparatively  open  water.  This 
barrier,  though  narrow,  was  formidable,  made  up  entirely  of  bergs 

590       Northward  over  the  ''  Great  Ice  " 

and  heavy  berg-fragments.  At  first  we  tried  to  squeeze  through, 
but  without  success.  It  was  evident  we  must  ram  a  passage  in 
spite  of  our  ugly  load.  Additional  timber-braces  were  hurriedly 
put  about  the  meteorite,  and  it  was  with  considerable  anxiety  that 
I  watched  the  effect  of  the  first  blow,  as  the  Captain  from  the 
foretop  conned  the  rushing  ship  straight  at  the  keystone  of  the 
barrier.  As  the  bow  struck  the  ice,  it  rose  upon  it  with  a  harsh 
grating  lift,  and  then  with  a  crash  and  quiver  the  Hope  came  to  a 
dead  stop.     The  meteorite  trembled,  and  the  ballast  underneath 


groaned  and  settled  slightly,  but  no  serious  results  followed,  and 
as  there  was  no  alternative,  the  engines  were  reversed,  and  we 
backed  out  for  another  blow.  Blow  after  blow  was  delivered, 
big  pieces  of  ice  were  broken  off  and  sucked  out  by  the  draught 
of  the  ship's  backing,  till  at  last  the  massive  wedge  of  the  Hopes 
iron-clad  bow  could  be  entered  between  the  last  two  bergs  of  the 
barrier,  and,  with  engines  going  at  full  speed,  gradually  forced 
them  apart.  The  entire  engine-room  force  was  stoking  like  de- 
mons, black  smoke  poured  in  clouds  from  the  Hope's  funnel,  the 
propeller  was  whirling  at  ninety  revolutions  per  minute,  and  the 

The  "Saviksue"  or  Cape-York  Meteorites   591 

Hope  herself  was  pulsating  like  a  human  heart.  Inch  by  inch  we 
squeezed  between  the  frozen  blue  rocks  on  each  side,  rasping  the 
iron  bark  sheathing  from  stem  to  stern,  and  as  the  sternpost 
cleared  the  bergs,  the  flying  propeller-blades  struck  once  or 
twice,  sending  throughout  the  ship  a  resonant  clangour,  fierce  as 
the  bellow  of  fire  bells  on  a  winter's  night.  It  was  our  pgean  of 

Looking  back  over  the  Hopes  wake  I  saw  the  bergs  between 
which  we  had  squeezed  swing  slowly  together  again.     The  icy 

i     7- 


cordon  of  Meteorite  Island  had  closed  for  the  winter,  but  the 
treasure  of  the  island,  the  celestial  prisoner,  had  escaped,  and 
now  was  throbbing  there  amidships,  as  it  had  never  throbbed 
since  that  cataclysmic  day  when  it  hummed  through  the  burning 
air,  and  shook  land  and  sea  with  the  frightful  fury  of  its  impact. 
Six  hours  later  we  were  at  Cape  York,  where  I  sent  my  faith- 
ful Eskimos  ashore,  accompanied  by  several  barrels  of  biscuit, 
and  loaded  with  guns,  knives,  ammunition,  and  numerous  other 
articles  which  I   had  brought  to  reward  them  for  their  faithful 

592        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 


In  going  into  the  village  at  Cape  York,  the  bergs,  driven  in  by 
the  south-easter,  forced  us  to  hug  the  shore,  and  all  at  once  I 
heard  that  horrible  grating  sound  which  tells  the  sailor  that  his 
ship  is  on  the  rocks.  A  glance  at  the  shore  showed  me  that  the 
tide  was  high.  It  was  a  critical  moment.  If  caught  here  with 
the  huge  mass  of  the  meteorite  still  at  the  deck  level,  when  the 
falling  tide  left  the  ship  to  fall  upon  her  bilge,  no  earthly  power 
could  keep  her  from  capsizing.  For  perhaps  a  minute  (it  seemed 
to  me  a  week)  the  vibrations  continued,  then,  with  a  lift  and 
lurch  of  the  stern,  they  ceased.  The  danger  was  past.  The 
Hope  s  momentum  had  carried  her  over  the  reef. 


From  Cape  York  we  steamed  away  for  Cape  Sabine  ;  but  the 
next  morning,  off  VVolstenholm  Island,  a  furious  Arctic  gale  de- 
scended upon  the  ship,  against  which  she  was  barely  able  to  fight 
her  way  inch  by  inch  to  safety  under  the  lee  of  the  island,  where 
for  thirty-six  hours  she  dodged  back  and  forth,  a  phantom  ship, 
her  decks  deep  with  snow,  her  spars,  sails,  and  rigging  crusted 
with  the  frozen  crystals,  barely  able  with  full  head  of  steam  to 
hold  her  own,  while  I,  with  four  of  my  bravest  Eskimos,  worked 
like  miners  in  our  timber-cage  under  the  meteorite,  lowering  it 
with  the  jacks,  inch  by  inch  and  foot  by  foot,  in  order  to  get  it 

The  "Saviksue"  or  Cape-York  Meteorites   593 

low  enough  not  to  endanger  the  ship's  safety.  All  this  time  the 
furious  wind  howled  througli  the  Hopes  tense  rigging,  as  if  the 
demon  of  the  "  Saviksoah  "  were  shrieking  at  us. 

The  superstitious  ones  on  board  were  now  more  firmly  con- 
vinced than  ever  that  we  should  never  reach  home,  and  that  this 
storm  was  but  a  warning  from  the  devil  of  the  meteorite. 

After  this  Cape  Sabine  was  visited,  where  I  was  the  first  one  to 
step  inside  the  Greely  house  since  the  rescue  of  the  survivors  of 
that  ill-fated  partyin  1883  ;  the  tour  of  theEskimo  settlements  com- 
pleted ;  and  the  homeward  voyage  effected  as  far  as  Godhavn  with- 
out special  incident.  Here  the  meteorite  was  lowered  to  within 
a  few  feet  of  the  keelson,  where  it  rested  firmly  upon  the  ballast, 
which  was  also  packed  solidly  about  it.  Then  twelve-inch  by 
twelve-inch  timbers  were  placed  between  it  and  the  ship's  side 
and  wedged,  blocked,  and  spiked  in  place  until  there  was  no  pos- 
sibility of  the  huge  weight  moving  except  as  the  ship  moved. 
Every  loose  object  on  deck  was  also  sent  below,  and  the  ship 
made  snug  for  the  mauling  which  the  experience  of  the  previous 
years  had  led  us  to  expect  in  crossing  Davis  Strait. 

And  fortunate  it  was  that  every  precaution  was  taken.  Before 
we  were  across  the  strait  a  fierce  north-wester  descended  upon 
the  ship,  and  during  the  night  of  September  8th,  she  rolled  and 
pitched  dizzily  upon  the  furious  seas  till  the  grey  light  of  dawn 
began  to  filter  through  the  tumult.  Time  after  time  the  lee 
dead-eyes  were  underwater,  and  as  ^ht  Hope  leaned  and  wavered 
and  hesitated  with  her  rail  out  of  sight,  and  the  boiling  tumult  to 
leeward  seething  up  to  the  side  of  the  companion-way,  it  seemed 
as  if  she  would  never  right. 

I'urning  from  the  ship,  an  inferno  of  Arctic  hellishness,  a  furi- 
ous horde  of  scourged,  bitter-cold  waves,  rose  out  of  the  wind- 
ward gloom  and  tossed  up  their  heads,  only  to  be  lashed  down 
by  the  merciless  wind,  until  in  savage  revenge  th-ey  rushed  upon 
the  Hope  like  Arctic  wolves,  and  poured  over  her  rail  as  if  to 
devour  her. 

Crouched  behind  the  weather  rail,  with  eyes  just  pupil  width 
above  it,  fascinated,  I  watched  the  turmoil. 

The  wind,  resistless  and  sonorous  as  Niagara,  roared  across 
the  seething  waters,  almost  as  tangible  as  they.  And  as  in  the 
plunging  flood  of  Niagara  there  are  countless  tiny  sagittate 
spurts  or  jets  of  greater  velocity  than  the  rest,  so  in  this  aerial 
torrent  there  were  jets  which  cut  the  water  as  a  graver's  tool 
cuts  metal  and  drove  the  liquid  shavings  in  sagittate  lines. 

Nowhere  will  such  a  mad  sea  be  raised  in  such  an  incredibly 
short   time  as   when   the   autumn    boreal   winds,    marshalling   in 

594       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Baffin's  Bay,  charge  southward,  and,  crowding  through  the  nar- 
rows of  Davis  Strait,  hurl  every  intruder  out  of  the  realm  of 
night,  foundering  many  a  majestic  berg,  and  driving  others, 
foaming  like  battle-ships,  through  the  water.  It  is  the  mighty 
besom  of  Kokoyah,  the  demon  of  the  North,  sweeping  his  domain 
clear  and  closing  his  realms  for  the  winter.  And  nowhere  does 
the  sea  subside  more  quickly  after  the  wind  goes  down. 

More  than  one  anxious  heart  on  board  was  certain  at  every 
wave  shock  that  the  demoniac  iron  had  broken  loose  and  was 
smashing  a  way  for  itself  through  the  ship's  side,  and  more  than 
one  gave  up  hope  of  ever  seeing  the  morning  light  again. 

Though  the  bulwarks  of  the  starboard  bow  were  smashed  by  a 
sea,  and  occasionally  the  waist  filled  with  green  water  to  the  rail 
level,  yet  with  everything,  including  the  hawse  holes  to  the  cable 
lockers,  battened  down,  no  serious  damage  was  done,  little  water 
was  taken  in,  and  the  meteorite  never  moved. 

The  next  morning  we  were  steaming  under  the  lee  of  the  Cape 
of  God's  Mercy,  named  by  Davis  centuries  ago. 

After  this  nothing  of  moment  occurred,  though  the  presence 
of  such  an  enormous  mass  of  iron  on  board  rendered  the  com- 
passes useless,  and  compelled  us  to  make  a  coasting  voyage  all 
the  way  back  to  Sydney,  where  the  ship  arrived  in  safety  on  the 
2oth  of  September,  burning  her  last  ton  of  coal.  The  homeward 
voyage  was  hampered  and  delayed  by  almost  constant  fog  and 
head-winds.  The  dangerous  passage  of  the  Straits  of  Belle  Isle, 
with  its  rapid  and  erratic  currents,  was  made  in  the  night  and  in 
densest  fog,  and  was  one  of  the  neatest  pieces  of  navigation  by 
Bartlett,  who  knows  every  inch  of  this  coast,  that  I  have  ever  seen 
It  was  simply  intuition  on  his  part  that  brought  us  through. 

Saturday,  October  2,  1897,  the  hundred-ton  floating  crane  at 
the  New  York  Navy  Yard,  through  the  courtesy  of  the  Navy  De- 
partment, lifted  the  giant  from  the  Hope  and  deposited  it  upon 
the  quay  wall,  the  largest  known  meteorite  in  the  world,  and  a 
meteorite  with  human  associations  such  as  attach  to  no  other. 

Three  years  of  persevering  efforts  had  won.  The  great  Star 
Stone  of  the  North,  traced  to  its  icy  matrix  and  torn  therefrom,  had 
been  brought  safely  out  through  the  ice,  the  storms,  and  dark- 
ness of  the  Arctic  seas. 

This  brief  narrative  would  be  incomplete  without  my  acknow- 
ledgment of  the  invaluable  assistance,  of  Capt.  John  Bartlett,  one 
of  the  most  reliable,  conservative,  and  gentlemanly  of  that  hardy 
company  of  Newfoundland  ice  navigators  ;  of  Emil  Diebitsch, 
the  able,  cool-headed  young  engineer  ;  of  the  officers  and  crews 
of  the  Kite  and  the  Hope,   who,  though  they  availed  themselves 

The  "Saviksue"  or  Cape-York  Meteorites  595 

of  the  sailor's  universal  prerogative  to  grumble,  still  did  yeo- 
men's work  ;  and  of  my  faithful  little  band  of  Eskimos,  who, 
handling  heavy  rails  and  timbers,  working  with  pick  and  shovel 
and  bar,  and  pumping  on  the  jacks,  did  all  they  could  to  put  into 
my  possession  the  "  Iron  Mountain  "  of  their  forefathers. 



The  smallest  of  the  three  meteorites  (the  "dog")  is  an  ellip- 
soidally  rounded  mass  with  dimensions  2"]^  inches  by  19I-  inches  ; 
an  estimated  bulk  of  2  cubic  feet  ;  and  an  estimated  weight  of 
1000  pounds. 

The  "SaviCsue"  or  Cape-York  Meteorites   597 

When  found,  it  was  lying  loosely  upon  the  surface  among  the 
gneissose  rocks  of  the  vicinity,  and  though  the  natives  tell  me 
that  it  has  been  used  but  little  because  it  is  harder  than  the 
others,  it  certainly  seems  to  have  been  pounded  sufficiently  to 
destroy  nearly  or  quite  all  of  its  original  surface.  It  was  situ- 
ated 80  feet  above,  and  1625  feet  distant  from,  high-water 

The  next  larger  meteorite  (the  "  woman  ")  has  an  irregular 
rounded  trapezoidal  shape,  with  a  maximum  length  of  4  feet  3 
inches,  a  maximum  width  of  3  feet  3  inches,  and  a  maximum 
thickness  of  2  feet.     Its  estimated  bulk  is  12  cubic  feet,  and  its 


estimated  weight  6000  pounds.  It  was  situated  96  feet  distant 
from,  and  2i|-  feet  higher  than,  the  "dog." 

Its  entire  upper  portion  has  been  worked  and  pounded  by  the 
Eskimos  through  many  generations,  until  all  the  original  surface 
has  been  removed.  A  well-defined  and  continuous  rough  burr 
of  metal  like  that  round  the  head  of  a  stone  drill  extends  along 
the  original  ground-line  of  the  mass  and  shows  clearly  how  much 
of  it  projected  from  the  ground.  The  under  part  preserves  the 
original  meteoric  surface  characteristics. 

This  mass,  when  discovered,  lay  slightly  imbedded  or  perhaps 
indented  in  the  coarse  material  at  the  bottom  of  a  shallow  saucer- 

The  ''Saviksue"  or  Cape-York  Meteorites   599 

shaped  depression,  formed  partly  by  the  work  of  the  natives 
and  partly  by  the  piling  up  of  the  trap-stones  brought  by  them 
during  many  generations  for  use  as  hammers. 

The  circumference  of  this  pile  of  stones  at  the  base  is  some  60 
yards,  and  its  height  from  the  toe  of  the  down-hill  slope  to  the  top 
is  18  or  20  feet.  The  contrast  between  the  smooth  rounded  green- 
ish trap-cobbles  and  the  rough  angular  lichen-covered  grey  gneis- 
sose  rocks  of  the  vicinity  is   very  striking.     When   viewed  from 


across  the  valley,  one  is  reminded  of  the  pile  of  debris  usually 
to  be  seen  at  the  mouth  of  a  mine  shaft. 

The  third  and  largest,  the  "  Ahnighito,"  is  an  irregular  mass, 
of  a  shape  difficult  to  describe,  with  a  maximum  length  of  11. 2 
feet,  a  maximum  width  of  7.6  feet,  and  a  maximum  thickness 
of  6  feet.  Its  estimated  weight  is  90  to  100  tons.  One  end  is 
rather  square  and  bluff,  the  other  tapers  to  a  point  or  tail.  One 
side  has  a  massive  wedge  shape,  while  the  opposite  side  is  tabu- 

6oo       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

lar,  with  a  pronounced  dorsal  fin  rising  from  it.  When  found,  it 
was  nearly  buried  in  the  earth  and  gravel  with  the  wedge  side 
down,  the  tabular  side  nearly  parallel  with,  and  about  a  foot 
below,  the  surface,  and  the  dorsal  fin  alone  showing  through  the 
mossy  turf.  The  bluff  end  was  toward  the  shore  and  the  long 
axis  nearly  perpendcular  to  it  and  lying  nearly  east  and  west 
(magnetic  north  and  south). 

The  exposed  part  had  the  colour  and  appearance  of  weathered 
bronze,  and  in  places  showed  in  slight  relief  the  lines  of  the 
Widmannstatten  figures.  Much  of  the  tabular  surface  showed 
scales  of  rust  caused  by  the  corrosion  from  the  water  which,  per- 
colating down  from  the  eternal  snow-drift  a  few  hundred  yards 
in  the  rear,  settled  and  remained  upon  it.  All  the  rest  of  the 
mass  showed  the  characteristic  meteoric  surface  markings. 

The  surface  of  all  the  meteorites  is  dark  brown  in  colour,  inter- 
spersed with  greenish  bits,  and  resembles  bronze.  To  the  eye 
the  appearance  of  the  metal  seems  the  same  in  all,  a  dense,  tough, 
fibrous  soft  iron  or  mild  steel,  with  silvery  lustre  and  resonant  as 
a  bell.  The  homogeneousness  of  the  metal  is  surprising.  There 
is  apparently  not  so  much  as  a  single  grain  of  any  foreign  sub- 
stance in  the  entire  mass  of  either  meteorite.  The  metal  can  be 
cut  with  a  knife,  and  when  scraped  with  a  file  shows  a  bright  sil- 
very lustre.  Etching  with  acid  brings  out  the  characteristic 
Widmannstatten  figures,  and  analyses  show  the  typical  meteoric 
nickel-steel  alloy,  the  composition  being  about  92  per  cent,  of 
iron  and  8  per  cent,  of  nickel.  Similar,  hov/ever,  as  the  three 
are  in  appearance,  I  am  convinced  that  there  is  a  pronounced  dif- 
ference in  the  amiability  of  the  metal :  the  "woman"  being  the 
softest.  The  statements  of  the  natives  are  unvarying  on  this 
point,  and  their  statements  are  borne  out  by  the  huge  pile  of 
broken  trap  cobble  surrounding  the  "woman,"  while  scarcely  a 
score  of  these  stones  were  scattered  about  the  "  dog,"  and  none 
were  found  about  the  "Ahnighito." 

Preliminary  analyses  of  samples  of  the  "  Ahnighito,"  made 
after  my  return  in  1895  by  Ricketts  and  Banks  of  New  York  City 
and  J.  K.  Phelps,  of  Yale  College,  gave  the  following  results  : 

R.  &  B.  Analysis.       Phelps  Analysis.        Mean. 

Iron 93-8oo    90.410         92.105 

Nickel 5-99°    8180  7.085 

Cobalt 0-540  0.540 


Sulphur 0.190  0.190 

Phosphorus 0.150    0.180  0.175 

Carbon trace       0.150  0.150 


..A'Jti^-    1 


"  Ahnighito." 

91.468^    .  .  , 

•••    91-476^ 


...       7-785 

0.533       ••■ 

•••     0-533 








, ..     0.023 

602        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

These  analyses  demonstrated  the  true  meteoric  composition  of 
the  mass. 

Final  analyses  of  all  three  masses  by  Prof.  Whitfield  of  the 
American  Museum  of  Natural  History,  after  my  return  in  1897, 
gave  the  following  results  : 


Iron 90.993^   . . . 

Nickel 8.265      ••• 

Cobalt 0.533      ... 

Copper 0.016 

Sulphur 0.019 

Phosphorus 0.172      o.i< 

Carbon 0.0 14     .... 

These  last  analyses  settled  what  I  had  personally  been  convinced 
of  from  the  first,  that  the  three  masses  are  fragments  of  one  original 
mass.  The  difference  in  hardness  on  which  the  Eskimos  insist  is 
probably  due  to  a  process  of  tempering,  variations  in  which  were 
caused  by  the  difference  in  size  of  the  masses  and  the  resultant 
differing  temperatures,  when  at  the  end  of  their  descent  they 
plunged  into  the  snow  and  ice. 

That  there  are  additional  specimens  unknown  to  the  natives  I 
doubt,  as  nothing  escapes  the  Eskimo  eye,  and  in  the  ages  that  this 
tribe  has  lived  in  its  contracted  Arctic  prison,  there  is  not  a  stone 
on  shore,  or  mountain-side,  or  summit,  that  has  not  been  pressed 
by  the  foot  of  some  fur-clad  hunter,  or  noted  by  his  quick  eye. 

Immediately  upon  my  return  with  the  large  meteorite,  the 
chronic  objector  came  to  the  front  in  full  force,  and  paragraphs 
appeared  repeatedly  in  the  press,  both  in  this  country  and  abroad, 
asserting  that  the  discovery  of  these  irons  was  not  new,  that 
scientists  had  decided  their  telluric  origin,  and  that  I  was  taking 
a  great  deal  of  trouble  to  secure  comparatively  uninteresting 

It  seemed  to  be  assumed  by  these  objectors,  that  the  deter- 
mination of  the  telluric  origin  of  the  Nordenskjold  irons,  and  the 
occurrence  of  nickeliferous  iron  in  sihc  in  the  basaltic  forma- 
tions in  and  about  Disco  Bay,  settled  conclusively  the  character 
of  all  metallic  iron  in  Greenland,  and  precluded  the  possibility  of 
true  meteoric  irons  being  found  in  any  portion  of  that  country, 
even  though  several  hundred  miles  distant. 

This  skepticism  was  not  confined  entirely  to  the  press.  Some 
eminent  gentlemen,  in  advance  of  any  personal  acquaintance  with 
the  meteorites  or  the  facts  connected  with  them,  did  not  hesitate 
to  class  them  with  the  Nordenskjold  irons. 

6o4       Northward  over  the  ''  Great  Ice  " 

Though  absolutely  satisfied  myself,  from  the  first,  as  to  the  ex- 
tra-terrestrial origin  of  these  masses,  I  was  entirely  willing  to 
waive  any  considerations  as  to  whether  my  own  judgment  in  the 
matter  had  weight,  and  submit  the  question  to  experts  whose 
verdict  would  be  incontestible. 

My  friend  President  Morris  K.  Jesup  of  the  American  Museum 
of  Natural  History  kindly  offered  to  obtain  for  me  the  decision 
of  the  greatest  authorities  on  meteorites  in  the  world  ;  and  the  dic- 
tum of  Fletcher  of  the  British  Museum,  Weinschenk  of  Munich, 
and  Brezina  of  Vienna,  together  with  the  verdict  of  Prof.  Rollin 
D.  Salisbury  of  the  Chicago  University,  who  saw  all  three  of  the 
masses  in  situ,  before  a  stroke  of  work  had  been  done  toward 
their  removal,  and  the  report  of  Prof.  R.  P.  Whitfield  of  the 
American  Museum  of  Natural  History,  are  here  appended. 

Even  were  it  not  for  the  unquestionable  proof  contained  in 
their  surroundings,  the  characteristics  of  the  masses  themselves 
are  so  unequivocal  as  to  be  absolutely  conclusive,  and  a  simple 
examination  has  been  sufficient  to  immediately  convince  anyone 
conversant  with  the  subject  and  competent  to  form  an  opinion 
of  their  meteoric  origin. 

It  may  be  said  that  in  but  one  respect,  /.  e.,  that  their  compo- 
sition is  an  alloy  of  nickel  and  iron,  are  these  Cape-York  meteor- 
ites similar  to  the  Nordenskjold  telluric  irons  of  Ovifak. 

The  following  points  of  difference  between  these  meteorites 
and  the  Nordenskjold  telluric  irons  will  be  of  interest. 

The  Nordenskjold  irons  were  found  in  69°  N.  Lat.,  the  Cape- 
York  "  Saviksue  "  in  76°  N.  Lat.  The  Nordenskjold  irons  are 
rough  and  rusty  in  external  appearance,  with  no  surface  mark- 
ing'j  differing  from  those  of  any  rusty  lump  of  iron,  and  they 
oxidise  rapidly,  some  of  them  even  to  complete  disintegration. 
Some  it  was  found  impossible  to  preserve,  others  are  kept  con- 
stantly wet  in  closed  cases. 

The  surface  of  the  Cape-York  "Saviksue,"  except  where  it  has 
been  abraded  by  the  Eskimos,  has  the  pittings,  striations,  and 
slightly  fused  appearance  of  the  edges,  distinctive  of  all  siderites,' 
and  is  of  a  rich,  smooth  bronze  colour,  unaffected  by  exposure. 
A  small  surface  on  the  "  Ahnighito  "  meteorite^  planed  in  1895, 
was  in  '97  still  bright  and  uncorroded. 

The  beautiful  Widmannstatten  figures,  the  celestial  trade-mark, 
are  as  sharp  and  clear  on  these  Cape-York  meteorites  as  if  made 
by  a  graver's  tool.  Not  only  do  these  markings  show  on  a 
polished  surface  under  the  action  of  acid,  but  on  the  exterior  of 
the  meteorites  as  well. 

'  Metallic  meteorites. 

6o6        Northward  over  the  ''Great  Ice" 

As  regards  surroundings,  the  Nordenskjold  irons  lay  in  an 
exten-sive  igneous  region  at  the  foot  of  basaltic  cliffs  in  which 
are  found  nodules  of  the  same  iron,  and  from  which  every  year 
additional  masses  are  weathered.  The  Cape-York  meteorites 
rested  upon  gneissose  boulders  in  the  midst  of  a  purely  gneissose 
region  which  extends,  uninterrupted  by  igneous  or  basaltic  forma- 
tions, for  miles  about  them.  Were  any  further  proof  needed,  the 
legends  of  the  Eskimos  attribute  a  heavenly  origin  to  the  masses. 


In  the  summer  of  1895,  in  company  with  Lieutenant  Peary,  I 
visited  the  region  near  Cape  York,  North  Greenland,  where  the 
meteorites,  which  he  has  subsequently  brought  to  the  United 
States,  were  seen.  The  two  smaller  ones  were  brought  back 
that  year.  The  third,  the  one  which  Lieutenant  Peary  has  just 
brought  back,  was  visited,  but  having  no  machinery  by  which  so 
heavy  a  body  could  be  handled,  it  was  reluctantly  left  behind. 
Sufficient  time  was  spent  in  its  immediate  vicinity,  however,  to 
allow  both  the  meteorite  and  its  surroundings  to  be  well  seen. 
Because  of  the  special  interest  attaching  to  the  meteorite,  its 
character  and  relations  were  noted  with  some  care. 

The  character  of  the  meteorite  itself  was  such  as  to  leave  no 
doubt  as  to  its  origin.  The  topography  of  its  surface,  studied 
in  detail,  possessed  all  the  characteristics  which  mark  the  surface 
of  metalHc  meteorites,  characteristics  which  are  not  found  in  any 
other  stones  or  metallic  masses  on  the  earth's  surface.  It  had 
the  pecular  pit-like  indentations  so  characteristic  of  metallic 
meteorites,  and  its  surface  showed  at  several  points  the  Wid- 
mannstatten  figures  which  are  one  of  the  distinctive  marks  of 
the  etched  surfaces  of  those  bodies.  A  hole  several  inches 
deep  was  drilled  into  it,  and  its  metallic  character  established. 
Like  many  other  meteorites  composed  chiefly  of  iron,  oxidation 
had  affected  only  a  thin  film  at  the  surface.  These  and  other 
considerations  less  capable  of  brief  statement  led  to  the  con- 
fident conclusion  that  the  metallic  mass  was  meteoric. 

Its  surroundings  were  in  harmony  with  the  conclusion  reached 
by  examination  of  the  iron  itself.  It  lay  upon  an  island  com- 
posed of  gnessic  rock.  No  other  sort  of  rock  was  seen  about  it, 
and  though  there  was  drift  on  the  island,  it  likewise  was  com- 
posed of  gneissic  debris.  No  other  stone  bearing  the  least  re- 
semblance to  the  meteorite  was  seen  in  the  vicinity,  nor  was 
there  in  the  drift  or  in  the  bed-rock,  so  far  as  seen,  any  basic 
igneous  rock,  the  only  sort  of  rock  known  to  contain  metallic 
iron  even  in  tiny  particles. 

•^  1' 

6o8       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Chemical  analysis  of  the  material  of  the  meteorite  subsequently 
confirmed  the  conclusion  to  which  the  examination  of  the  metallic 
mass  and  its  surroundings  had  led. 

The  position  of  the  meteorite,  which  was  no  more  than  half 
buried,  seemed  to  indicate  that  it  fell  on  glacier  ice  when  ice 
covered  the  region  where  it  lay.  On  the  melting  of  the  ice  the 
meteorite  was  let  down  upon  the  surface  in  the  position  where  it 
was  found. 

Oct.,  1897.  RoLLiN  D.  Salisbury, 

Professor,  Chicago  University. 

American  Museum  of  Natural  History, 

New  York,  N.  Y.,  December  11,  1897. 
Prof.  Lazarus  Fletcher,'  M.A.,  F.  R.  S., 

British  Museum,  South  Kensington, 
London,  England. 
Dear  Sir  : 

As  conflicting  views  are  likely  to  be  presented  regarding  the 
meteoric  nature  of  the  iron  masses  brought  from  Greenland  by 
Lieut.  Peary  during  1895  and  1897,  I  have  taken  the  liberty  of 
soliciting  an  expression  of  your  valuable  opinion. 

The  section  which  I  have  sent  to  you  for  examination  is  cut 
from  the  great  mass  now  at  the  Navy  Yard.  I  also  have  included 
a  copy  of  the  analysis  of  borings  made  from  each  of  the  meteorites. 

If  it  is  not  too  great  an  intrusion  upon  your  valuable  time,  I 
shall  be  pleased  to  receive  an  expression  of  your  judgment  in  this 
matter  at  your  early  convenience.  I  have  sought  your  opinion 
in  the  cause  of  science,  and  in  the  knowledge  that  it  will  be  ap- 
preciated by  Lieut.  Peary  as  well  as  myself. 

I  am,  sincerely  yours, 

Morris  K.  Jesup, 


letter  from  prof.  fletcher. 

British  Museum  (Natural  History), 

London,  December  23,  1897. 
President  Morris  K.  Jesup, 

American  Museum  of  Natural  History, 
New  York. 
Dear  Sir  : 

The  specimen  of  Peary  iron  and  the  letter  have  reached  me 
this  morning.     I  return  the  specimen  herewith. 

'  Similar  letters  addressed  to  Dr.  Weinschenk  and  Prof.  Brezina. 

The  "Saviksue"  or  Cape- York  Meteorites   609 

The  character  of  the  etched  surface  is  decisive  as  regards  the 
extra-terrestrial  origin  ;  no  such  figures  have  been  shown  by  any- 
iron  which  is  not  regarded  as  meteoric,  and  such  figures  are  shown 
by  irons  which  have  been  actually  seen  to  fall. 

As  regards  other  Greenland  irons,  it  has  been  possible  to  hold 
opposite  views  as  to  the  origin  ;  about  this  iron  there  can  be  no 
doubt  whatsoever  ;  the  figures  are  as  distinct  as  in  any  I  have 
seen.  I  am,  faithfully  yours, 

L.  Fletcher. 


Munich,  December  28,  1897. 
President  Morris  K.  Jesup, 

New  York. 
My  dear  Sir  : 

Fortunately,  I  am  able  to  determine,  with  certainty,  the  piece 
of  iron  which  you  kindly  sent  me  for  examination.  Like  all 
others,  it  bears  the  characteristics  of  meteoric  origin,  and  it  is 
absolutely  and  without  doubt  a  meteorite.  If  one  should  wish  to 
doubt  this,  one  might  as  well  question  all  the  known  meteorites 
of  the  day  which  belong  to  this  class  of  irons,  as  their  falling  has 
never  been  observed.  The  sample  you  sent  me  belongs  to  the 
group  of  the  Oktaedriethen  irons,  and  it  resembles  that  of  Totura 
of  prehistoric  times. 

Dr.  Weinschenk. 

cable  from  prof.  brezina,  director  natural  history 
museum,   vienna. 

"  Cutting  sent  is  a  Montahedral  Meteorite." 



To  Morris  K.  Jesup, 

President  American  Museum  of  Natural  History. 
Dear  Sir  : 

I  have  investigated  the  subject  of  the  Peary  meteorites,  as 
you  requested,  and  find  they  are  among  the  most  pronounced 
meteorites  known,  as  far  as  their  structure  and  nature  can  deter- 
mine. Sections  were  cut  from  the  two  largest,  and  etched  por- 
tions submitted  to  three  of  the  most  noted  experts  on  this  subject 
in  Europe,  Prof.  Fletcher  of  the  British  Museum,  Prof.  Brezina 
of  Vienna,  and  Prof.  Weinschenk  of  Munich,  Bavaria. 

6io       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Drillings  were  taken  from  each  of  the  three  irons  and  submitted 
to  an  expert  in  meteorite  analysis.' 

None  of  the  specimens  show  Silicon  or  Manganese.  A  trace 
of  Chromium  was  found  in  the  outside  crust  of  the  largest  speci- 

The  analyses  show  all  three  irons  of  the  Peary  group  to  be  not 
only  decidedly  meteoric  in  nature  and  composition,  but  quite 
similar  in  character,  proving  they  are  parts  of  the  same  fall,  and 
were  originally  one  celestial  mass.  So  the  meteoric  nature  of  the 
masses  can  be  considered  as  definitely  established. 

Yours  truly, 

R.  P.  Whitfield. 


Surprise  at  finding  this  little  family  of  Hyperboreans  on  a  par 
with  the  Greeks,  the  Romans,  the  Carthaginians,  and  the  devotees 
of  Buddha,  in  their  possession  of  a  "  heaven  stone,"  is  almost 
startling  in  its  intensity  ;  yet  surprise  gives  way  to  admiration  as 
we  note  the  shrewdness  of  these  brown  hunters  of  the  "  Great 
Night."  The  savage  stress  of  natural  environment  in  which  the 
Creator  placed  them  to  struggle  for  existence,  left  them  no  room 
for  any  such  Platonic  manifestations  as  worship  of  their  celestial 
guests.  A  Diana  of  Ephesus  or  Venus  of  Cyprus  '^  would  be 
utterly  useless  to  them.  Nor,  on  the  other  hand,  would  any 
glittering  blade,  irresistible  in  conflict,  appeal  to  them.'  Their 
sole  and  ever-besieging  enemies  were  the  demons  Hunger  and 
Sf  irvation  ;  and  so,  with  intense  practicalness,  they  pressed  the 
"  Saviksue  "  into  their  service,  in  solving  the,  to  them,  funda- 
mental equation  of  the  problem  of  existence, — securing  food, — 
and  chipped  their  heavenly  visitors  to  point  the  harpoons  that 
brought  this  great  essential. 

In  contemplating  these  brown  masses,  a  host  of  strange  fan- 
cies, speculations,  and  queries  crowd  upon  one.  Did  man  or  the 
meteorites  first  arrive  in  that  inhospitable  region  ?  If  the  former, 
and  the  meteorites  fell  in  the  long,  dark  winter  night,  what  terror 
the  detonations,  the  blinding  glare,  and  the  earthquake  shock  of 
their  fall  must  have  caused  among  the  poor  savages  cowering  in 
their  shaking  stone  and  turf  huts  !  Would  it  be  strange  if  they 
had  thought  that  the  sun  itself  had  broken  loose  and  was  falling 
upon  the  earth,  and  that  the  earth  was  going  to  pieces  under  the 
shock,  like  one  of  their  own  icebergs  ? 

If  the  meteorites  fell  in  summer,  howthe  seals  must  have  plunged 

'  See  page  604.  ^  Sacred  statues  said  to  have  fallen  from  the  sky. 

^  Sword  of  Antar,  and  other  legendary  blades  said  to  have  been  forged  from 
thunderbolts  (meteorites). 

The  ''Saviksue"  or  Cape- York  Meteorites   6ii 

for  the  water,  and  the  polar  bears  rushed  at  full  speed  over  the 
ice-floes,  fear-stricken  by  the  awful  cataclysm  ! 

If  the  arrival  of  the  meteorites  antedated  that  of  man,  did  they 
fall  but  a  short  time  previous  to  his  advent,  or  thousands  of 
years  ago,  during  the  glacial  epoch,  when  this  entire  region  was 
covered  by  an  unbroken  ice-sheet  ? 

The  fact  that  the  "  woman  "  and  the  "  dog  "  were  not  buried  in 
the  ground,  and  that  there  were  no  indications  of  crushing  of  the 
rocks  beneath  them  or  abrasion  or  indentation  of  the  under  sur- 
faces of  the  meteorites  themselves,  phenomena  which  must  have 
accompanied  their  direct  fall  upon  the  ground,  would  seem  to 
indicate  that  they  had  originally  descended  upon  the  surface  of 
the  then  much-expanded  ice-sheet,  and  upon  its  recession  had 
gradually  settled  to  the  positions  in  which  they  were  found. 

On  the  other  hand,  one  of  the  enormous  snow-drifts  which  form 
along  this  coast  even  in  ordinary  winters  might  have  received 
the  meteorites  and  cushioned  their  fall  completely,  allowing  the 
presumably  high  temperature  of  the  masses  to  effect  their 
gradual  descent  and  final  deposition  upon  the  underlying  rocks. 

The  existence  of  the  Eskimo  legend  already  noted  above  in 
regard  to  those  meteorites,  lends  colour  to  the  belief  that  their 
arrival  was  subsequent  to  that  of  man  ;  else  how  could  these 
rude  natives  have  obtained  any  idea  of  their  heavenly  origin,  and 
why  should  not  the  brown  masses  have  been  to  them  simply 
weeaksue  (rocks)  like  all  the  others  in  their  country,  including 
the  soapstones  which  have  furnished  them  with  material  for  their 
lamps  and  pots  ? 

Next,  and  to  me  most  astonishing,  how  did  these  poor  aborigi- 
nes discover  the  qualities  of  the  material  composing  the  masses, 
and  the  uses  to  which  it  could  be  put,  and  then  devise  means  of 
availing  themselves  of  it  ? 

From  what  I  have  seen  of  this  people,  and  their  exhaustive 
knowledge  of  all  the  materials  to  be  found  in  their  country,  and 
the  special  qualifications  of  each,  I  am  inclined  to  think  that 
these  little  brown  wizards  of  the  North  have,  at  one  time  or  other 
during  the  past  centuries,  put  through  the  laboratory  of  common 
sense  and  practical  experience  every  stone  or  other  material  in 
the  whole  range  of  their  observation,  and  settled  for  all  time  the 
characteristics,  the  qualities,  and  capabilities  of  each  ;  and,  where 
these  capabilities  could  be  used  for  their  own  benefit,  have  de- 
vised means  for  so  utilising  them. 

The  spectacle  of  these  little  fur-clad  children  of  the  ice-floes 
using  for  centuries  a  heaven-invented  alloy  (nickel  steel),  which  is 
almost   precisely  the  same  in  its  composition  as  the  nickel-steel 

6i2        Northward  over  the  ''Great  Ice" 

armour  plate  with  which  we  are  protecting  our  battle-ships  to- 
day, is  to  me  one  of  the  most  striking  in  the  annals  of  Arctic 

THE    METAL    OF    THE    "  SAVIKSUE." 

During  the  moon  of  January,  1895,  I  made  with  Lee  a  tour  of 
the  Eskimo  settlements  in  Whale  Sound,  for  the  purpose  of  pur- 
chasing material  for  the  equipment  for  my  Inland-Ice  journey 
the  following  spring. 

We  stopped  one  night  at  Netiulumi. 

In  the  morning,  Lee  brought  in  a  small  oodoo,  or  woman's 
knife,  which  his  hostess,  the  wife  of  Kyangwah,  wished  to  give  me 
in  exchange  for  some  needles.  Something  peculiar  in  the  appear- 
ance of  the  implement  caused  me  to  examine  it,  and  I  saw  that 
the  cutting  edge  was  composed  of  five  small  fragments  of  iron 
ingeniously  set  in  a  groove  in  the  ivory  handle. 

Sending  for  the  woman,  I  asked  her  where  she  got  the  knife, 
and  she  replied  :  ''''  Saviksuami ;  sukke?i?iuksue"  ("  It  is  from  the 
great  iron  ;  it  is  very  old  ").  Further  questioning  elicited  the 
information  that  in  the  autumn,  while  she  was  rebuilding  an  old 
igloo  for  their  winter  residence,  she  found  this  knife  buried  in  the 
interior.  She  herself  had  never  seen  one  like  it  before,  but  the  old 
men  of  the  tribe  had  told  her  that  it  was  one  of  those  made  from 
the  "  Saviksue,"  and  used  by  their  women  of  generations  past. 

Pleased  with  my  prize,  I  gave  the  woman  all  the  needles  I  had 
left, — an  entire  paper, — which  unbounded  wealth  immediately 
raised  her  to  the  proud  position  of  millionaire  among  her  less 
fortunate  sisters. 

The  cutting  edge  of  the  knife  thus  obtained  is  formed  of  five 
fragments  of  the  meteoric  iron.  The  handle  is  composed  of 
three  pieces  of  bone,  and  the  entire  implement  is  of  a  size  to 
make  it  seem  almost  a  toy.  Yet  small  and  crude  as  it  is,  it  still 
must  have  been  a  great  improvement  over  the  fragments  of  flints 
which,  previous  to  the  utilisation  of  the  metal  of  the  "  Saviksue," 
formed  the  only  cutting  implements  of  these  people. 

Diligent  inquiry  of  nearly  every  member  of  the  tribe  since, 
demonstrated  not  only  that  there  is  no  other  knife  like  it  in  the 
tribe,  but  that  this  is  the  only  one  ever  seen  by  any  of  the  tribe, 
with  the  exception  of  one  or  two  of  the  oldest  men. 

In  March  of  1895,  while  packing  various  specimens  previous 
to  starting  upon  the  Inland-Ice  trip,  I  came  across  some  relics  of 
the  ancient  people  of  this  region,  discovered  by  one  of  the  men 




Actual  size. 

6 14       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

while  digging  in  an  old  igloo  at  Kangerdlooksoah,  and  brought 
bv  him  to  me. 

There  was  a  lance-head  of  bone,  the  bone-point  of  a  harpoon,  a 
bone-scraper,  and  a  peculiar  piece  of  bone  some  three  or  four 
inches  in  length  with  a  groove  extending  along  a  portion  of  one 
side.  It  at  once  occurred  to  me  that  this  was  the  handle  of  an- 
other of  these  ancient  knives,  and  in  order,  if  possible,  to  deter- 
mine the  matter  absolutely,  I  called  in  one  of  the  old  men  then 
visiting  at  my  headquarters  and,  spreading  the  various  articles 
out  upon  the  table,  told  him  I  wished  to  know  what  they  were. 
Pointing  to  each  one  in  turn,  he  explained  to  me  what  they  were, 
and  the  peculiar-shaped  piece  of  bone  was  identified  by  him  as 
the  handle  of  a  man's  knife,  the  cutting  edge  of  which  had  been 
composed  of  fragments  from  the  "  Saviksue." 

The  length  of  the  groove  was  only  one  and  one-fourth  inches, 
and  it  would  seem  that  this  knife  must  have  long  antedated  those 
which  Ross  saw  in  1818,  as  the  cutting  edge  of  one  which  he  fig- 
ures is  much  longer.  Probably,  as  the  result  of  long  experience, 
the  natives  had,  at  the  time  of  his  visit,  become  more  expert  in 
working  the  iron.  This  knife,  like  the  other  one  already  de- 
scribed, is  the  only  one  of  the  kind  known  to  any  of  the  tribe. 


From  that  dazzling  May  morning  in  1894,  when  Tellikotinah, 
kneeling  beside  the  "  woman "  at  the  bottom  of  the  snow-pit, 
showed  me  how  his  grandfathers  had  removed  fragments  of  the 
iron  and  fashioned  their  rude  knives,  I  felt  that  these  unique 
meteorites  deserved  more  than  to  be  simply  ranged  in  order 
among  so  many  other  inert  masses  of  iron  in  some  great  col- 

I  believed  that  the  important  part  they  had  played  in  the  ad- 
vancement of  this  little  family  of  Eskimos  should  be  perpetuated 
forcibly,  and  the  meteorites  themselves  given  warmth  and  life  by 
making  them  the  central  feature  in  a  life-size  group  representing 
the  ancient  method  of  utilising  them.  With  this  object  in  view, 
I  invited  artist  Albert  Operti  to  be  my  guest  on  my  summer 
voyages  of  1896  and  1897  and  assist  me  in  putting  my  ideas  in 

A  scene  of  a  hundred  years  or  more  ago,  as  described  and  in 
part  re-enacted  for  me  by  some  of  the  older  men  of  the  present 
generation,  was  outlined  by  the  facile  brush  of  my  friend  Operti, 
and  suitable  individuals  of  the  tribe  were  selected  and  posed  for 
the  group. 

Operti  then  made  a  complete  series  of  casts,  measurements,  and 

6i6       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

sketches,  as  well  as  studies  of  the  surroundings.  I  assisted  with 
my  camera.  The  costumes  and  all  accessaries  of  the  group  were 
then  purchased,  and  packed  away  with  the  casts. 

In  the  foreground,  are  the  "  woman,"  and  two  families  of  Eski- 
mos who  are  availing  themselves  of  the  opportunity  to  rer\ew 
the  cutting  edges  of  their  knives  and  harpoon  heads.  One  family, 
consisting  of  the  father,  mother,  grown  son,  and  small  child,  has 
taken  possession  of  one  of  the  numerous  kangmah,  or  small 
stone  shelters,  constructed  by  their  long-dead  a-ncestors,  and  in 
front  of  this  the  woman  is  preparing  a  meal  of  seal  meat  which 


she  is  heating  in  a  stone  pot  over  a  stone  lamp.  The  child  stands 
near  her  eating  a  piece  of  the  raw  meat. 

Kneeling  beside  the  "  woman,"  is  the  young  man,  with  one  of 
the  rounded  trap-stones  grasped  in  both  hands.  With  this  he  is 
engaged  in  the  arduous  labour  of  laminating  some  small  promi- 
nence of  the  meteorite  by  continuous  pounding  in  the  same  spot, 
until  a  small  flake  becomes  partially  separated  and  can  be  re- 

The  father,  seated  upon  his  sledge,  which  for  convenience  has 
been  drawn  near  the  "  woman,"  is  engaged  in  the  skilled  labour 
of  joining  and  fitting  the  bits  of  iron  detached  by  his  son  into  the 

The  "Saviksue"  or  Cape-York  Meteorites   617 

groove  of  a  bone  handle,  to  form  as  continuous  a  cutting  edge  as 
possible.  The  dogs  of  this  family,  four  in  number,  are  tied  to 
one  of  the  numerous  gneissose  boulders  in  the  background. 

The  second  family  has  just  arrived,  and  comprises  a  man,  his 
wife,  and  a  baby,  carried  in  the  mother's  hood.  While  the  man 
is  untangling  the  traces  of  his  dogs,  three  in  number,  preparatory 
to  tying  them  to  a  rock,  the  woman  brings  up  from  the  sledge  an 
armful  of  the  rounded  trap-stones  which  they  gathered  a  hundred 
miles  or  more  up  the  coast,  for  use  as  hammers  upon  the  "  Savik- 
sue." Upon  the  sledge  may  be  seen,  in  addition  to  these  stones, 
the  meat  of  a  seal  just  killed  on  the  bay  below,  which  will  insure 
an  ample  supply  of  food  for  the  entire  party  during  the  several 
days  that  they  must  remain  in  order  to  obtain  their  meagre  sup- 
ply of  the  precious  iron. 


The  Cape- York  "  Saviksue  "  stand  easily  first  among  all  known 
meteorites,  with  an  unapproachable  combination  of  charms. 

Their  extra-terrestrial  origin  is  unimpeachable.  On  this  the 
highest  authorities  are  unanimous  and  emphatic.  ''''As  regards  other 
Greenland  irons,  it  has  been  possible  to  hold  opposite  views  as  to  the 
origiji  J  about  this  iron  there  cati  be  no  doubt  whatsoever T — Fletcher. 
"/  am  able  to  deterfnine  the  iron  7vith  certainty.  It  is  absolutely  and 
without  doubt  a  meteorite." — Weinschenk.  "/.$■  a  meteorite." — 
Brezina.  "'The  character  of  the  meteorite  itself  was  such  as  to  leave 
no  doubt  as  to  its  origin." — Salisbury.  ''''They  are  among  the  most 
pronounced  meteorites  known." — Whitfield. 

The  extremely  high  latitude  in  which  they  were  found,  the 
peculiar  physical  conditions  existing  in  the  locality  of  their  dis- 
covery, the  bearing  of  these  conditions  upon  the  details  of  their 
arrival  upon  the  earth,  their  wealth  of  suggestion  of  questions 
and  speculations  of  the  most  attractive  nature  to  the  scientist,  and 
the  fact  that  though  their  existence  has  been  known  since  1818 
they  for  seventy-six  years  baffled  all  efforts  to  locate  their 
hiding-place,  would  lend  them  under  any  circumstances  unusual 

But  their  wealth  of  interest  does  not  end  here.  The  "  Ah- 
nighito  "  far  surpasses  m  size  the  largest  of  the  known  meteor- 
ites in  the  world,  and  the  "  woman  "  is  exceeded  by  but  one  or 
two  specimens  in  the  world's  great  museums.  The  Cranbourne 
meteorite  in  the  British  Museum  weighs  some  8000  pounds.  The 
gems  of  the  National  Museum,  the  Paris  Museum,  the  Yale  Univers- 
ity Museum,  and  the  Field  Columbian  Museum,  weigh,  respect- 
ively, 2500   pounds  (estimated),   1709,   1630,  and   1013  pounds. 

6i8       Northward  over  the  **  Great  Ice" 

while  the  largest  in  the  museums  of  Vienna  and  the  University 
of  Bonn  are  still  smaller. 

The  group  is  absolutely  complete.  The  three  specimens  are 
intact  and  undivided  and  together  comprise  the  entire  fall.  In 
this  respect  they  are  unsurpassed. 

Yet  perhaps  most  prominent  of  all  their  attractions  stand  their 
ethnological  or  human  associations.  Heaven-sent,  they  have 
made  it  possible  for  an  entire  aboriginal  tribe,  the  most  northerly 
one  upon  the  earth,  probably  the  smallest,  and  perhaps  the  most 
interesting,  whose  habitat  is  metal-barren,  to  rise  from  the  stone 
to  the  iron  age. 

Last  are  the  by  no  means  uninteresting  incidents  of  their  dis- 
covery and  transportation  to  civilisation. 

This  combination  of  values  renders  these  Cape- York  "  Savik- 
sue  "  peerless  and  unique  among  all  the  meteorites  of  the  world. 







Academy,  Bay,  6i,  79,  124,  130,  154, 
232  ;  Glacier,  494,  495,  498,  499  ; 
Glacier  Basin,  468 

Adams,  Capt.,  546 

Advance,  the  s.  s.,  213,  218  ;  boat 
party  from  the,  136 

Agony,  Mount,  138,  2ir 

Alexander,  Cape,  421  ;  steaming  past, 
52,  58 

American  Museum  of  Natural  His- 
tory, 549,  611 

Andersen,  fruit  for  Mrs.,  24 

Anniversary,  Camp,  39  ;  Lodge,  65, 
68,  72, _  85,  120,  153,  327,  518  ; 
completing,  66  ;  dog  food  brought 
to,  79 ;  reaching,  96  ;  return  of 
sun  to,  80  ;  return  to,  247 

Anoah  Glacier,  220,  331 

Arctic  Circle,  crossing  the,  19  ;  night 
reindeer  hunting  in  the,  79  ;  settle- 
ment within  the,  21 

Astrlip,  Eivind,  46,  65,  66,  72,  86, 
114,  159,  471,  528  ;  attended  by 
doctor,  68  ;  condition  of,  94  ;  ill,  70, 
93  ;  preparing  food,  90 ;  return  of, 

Athol,  Cape,  137,  162,  211,  212,  214, 

327,  335 
Aurora  and  meteor,  405 
Auroral  notes,  191-203 


Baby  Lake,   88,   96,    288,    518,  522  ; 

skating  on,  395 
Baffin  Bay,  594 
Balboa,  462 
Baldwin,   E.   B.,  65,  86,  97,  98,    108, 

115,    187,  190,  203  ;  meteorological 

instruments  of,  100 

Baldwin,  Lansing,  574,  584 

Barden  Bay,  149,  161,   220,  222  ;  the 

Falcon  in,  38 
Bartlett,  Capt.  Harry,   19,  47,  54,  59. 

Bartlett,   Capt.  John,    535,   553,   563, 

579,  584,  589-  594 

Barton,  Prof.,  570 

Battle  Harbour,  10,  n 

Bay,  Academy,  61,  79,  124,  130,  154, 
232  ;  Baffin,  600  ;  Barden,  149,  161, 
220,  222  ;  the  Falcon  in,  38  ;  Bow- 
doin,  39,  65,  154,  208,  241,  242, 
247,  275,  353,  517,  537,  556  ;  Disco, 
604  ;  Granville,  173  ;  Independence, 
66,  93,  102,  108,  113,  210,  300,  441, 
446,  447,  456,  463,  528  ;  McCor- 
mick,  88,  127,  153,  232,  273,  396, 
424,  428,  537  ;  Melville,  124,  128, 
142,  155,  163,  167,  382,  554,  556, 
558-562,  568,  572,  573,  575,  589, 
614  ;  crossed,  33  ;  passage  begun, 
30;  sledge  journey  to,  159;  Olriks, 
119,  123,  129-131,  174,  231,  244, 
376,  378  ;  glaciers  of,  126  ;  hunting 
in,  72  ;  inaccurately  charted,  61  ; 
party  for,  67  ;  returning  from,  60  ; 
steaming  for,  58,  59  ;  Parker  Snow, 
140,  335,  338,  345,  346  ;  Robert- 
son, 273,  422,  424  ;  Saviksoah,  558, 
562,  568  ;  Sonntag,  58 

Bears,  killed,  433 

Belle  Isle,  Straits  of,  600 

Bell  Rock,  135,  220,  221 

Bergs,  fleet  of,  46  ;  overturning  of, 
350  ;  scattered,  39  ;  seen,  11 

Birds,  Greenland,  141 

Bismarck,  Cape,  93 

Bjorling,  217  ;  and  Kallstenius,  153 

Boal,  Mr.,  574 

Bonesteel,  Mr.,  568 

Booth  Sound,  135,  149,  161,  220,  222 


620       Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Bowdoin,  Bay,  39.  65,   154,  208,  241, 

242,   247,  275,    353,  517,  537,  556  ; 

bergs  in,  39  ;    Falcon  anchored  in, 

39;  Glacier,  75,  247,  537 
Brezina,  Professor,  606,  609 
Bridgman,  H.  L.,  153,  211 
British  Museum,  554,  606,  617 
Bryant,  H.  G.,  153 
Burros,   attacked,  42  ;    death  of  two, 

10  ;  landing  the,  41  ;  on  board  the 

Falcon,  4 
Burton,  Prof.  A.  E.,  570 
Bushnan  Island,  145,  164,  556 

Cache,  digging  out  the,  91  ;  equinoc- 
tial, 443  ;  igloos,  117  ;  leaving  the, 
92  ;  one  hundred  and  twenty-four 
miles  from  the  moraine,  113 ; 
searching  for  the,  442 

Cairn,  erected  on  Cape  York,  37 

Cairn  Point,  53,  54 

Camping  in  a  snow-storm,  I15  ;  on  In- 
land Ice,  86 

Cape,  Alexander,  421  ;  passing,  52, 
58;  Athol,  137,  162,  211,  212,  214, 
327,  335  ;  Bismarck,  93  ;  Chalon, 
420;  Cleveland,  44,  251,  307, 
424  ;  Falcon  passing,  52  ;  Dudley 
Digges,  140  ;  Frederick  VII.,  54  ; 
Hawkes,  53  ;  Ingersoll,  54 ;  Isa- 
bella, 53,  54;  Louis  Napoleon,  54; 
Melville,  164,  165  ;  Murdock,  169; 
Ohlsen,  56,  419  ;  Parry,  134,  149, 
161,  219-221,  327,  329,  349,  352, 
354,  376,  381, 409, 556  ;  sighted,  38 ; 
Robertson,  419  ;  Sabine,  53,  54, 
592,  593  ;  Seddon,  168  ;  Shackleton, 
28  ;  Walker,  166,  168  ;  York,  128, 
129,  141,  142,  155,  159,  162,  164, 
169,  171,  211,  219,  273,  305,  313, 
327,  330,  333,  336,  339,  343,  353, 
373,  396,  408,  419,  553,  554,  556, 
559,  561, 562, 568, 574, 575, 591,592, 
606,  607,  618  ;  cairn  on,  37  ;  families 
from,  70;  fox-traps  on,  37  ;  ice-cap 
on,  37  ;  landing  at,  37  ;  meteorites 
of,  553,  607,  617,  618  ;  outlook  from, 
37 ;  region  about,  133  ;  rounding, 
143  ;  sighted,  32 

Carey  Islands,  38,  217 

Carpenter,  Mr.,  674 

Carr,  George  H.,  66,  71,  155 

Carrier  pigeons,  4  ;  letter  by,  68 
Castle  Cliffs,  43,  129,  241,  242,  275, 

Chalon,  Cape,  420 
Chamberlin,  Prof.  T.  C,  153 
Christmas,  78 

Clark,   George    H.,  65,   97,  99;    ac- 
companying  the   invalids,    95,    96 ; 

decides  to  go  ahead,  loi  ;  frozen  to 

sleeping-bag,  109 
Cleveland,  Cape,   44,  251,  307,  424; 

Falcon  passing,  52 
Cliffs,    Castle,    43,    129,     241,     242, 

275,  403  ;  Crimson,  141,  172  ;  Navy, 

Coburg  Island,  542,  544 
Cone  Island,  542,  544,  546 
Conical  Rock,  140,  172,  211,  220,  327 

338,  345,  544 
Cook,  Dr.  F.  A.,  46,  528 
Cortez,  462 

Cranbourne  meteorite,  617 
Crimson  Cliffs,  141,  172 
Cross,  Mrs.  Susan  J.,  66,  68 
Crystal  Palace  Glacier,  52 


"  Daisy,"  death  of  the,  45 
Dalrymple  Rock,  220,  544 
Davidson,  James  W.,  66,  71,   72,  99, 

155  ;  frozen  heel  of,  loi  ;  return  of 

Davis  Strait,  549,  593,    594 
Devil's  Thumb,  166 
Dexterity  Harbour,  546 
Diebitsch,  Emil,   153,   535,   537,  563, 

-565,  594 

Disco,  Bay,  611  ;  Island,  554 

Dodge,  Mr.,  568 

Dogs,  assistants  on  ice-cap,  4 ;  at- 
tacked by  disease,  no;  attacking 
the  burros,  42  ;  buried  in  snow, 
III  ;  disease  of  the,  92  ;  endurance 
of  the  Eskimo,  120 ;  exhausted, 
117  ;  killed,  94  ;  loss  of,  10  ;  mad, 
III,  115;  nearly  a  hundred,  26; 
of  Whale  Sound,  524  ;  on  board, 
17  ;  pitiable  condition  of,  100 

Duck  Islands,  landing  on,  26  ;  leav- 
ing the,  30 

Ducks,  eider,  30  ;  shooting,  56 

Dudley  Digges,  Cape,  140 

Dycle,  Prof.  L.  L.,  535 



Eagle  Island,  7 

East  Glacier,  242,  275,  279,  373 

Eider-ducks,  30  ;  shooting  the,  56 

Ellesmere  Land,  153,  421 

English  Arctic  Expedition,  554 

Entrikin,  Samuel  J.,  65,  67,   86,   97, 

99,    115,    116,     152;    better,    no; 

frost-bitten,    107  ;  hunting,   72,  73  ; 

sick,  109  ;  team  of,  108 
Equinoctial  Camp,  107,  117 
Equipment,  pushing  work  on  Inland 

Ice,  79;    work  commenced  on,  78 
Eskimo,  dogs,    loss   of,    10  ;  pack  of, 

82  ;     hunters,     43  ;     knives,     612  ; 

mail  carrier,  133  ;  of  Whale  Sound, 

431  ;  visitors,  2J-r3^9 
Eskimos,  building  igloos,  91  ;  Labra- 
dor,   14,    17  ;  return  to  lodge,   92  ; 

Smith-Sound,  556  ;  taken  onboard, 

Expedition,     English     Arctic,     554  ; 
Kane,  6,  161  ;  Peary,  151 

Fairweather,  Captain,  548 

Faith,  whale-boat,  4,  47,  67  ;  crushed, 

Falcon  Harbour,  60,  75  ;  Falcon  re- 
turns to,  61 

Falcon,  the  s.  s.,  49,  50,  126,  128, 
143.  153-155,  207,  210,  213,  339, 
556  ;  anchored  in  Bowdoin  Bay, 
39  ;  arrival  at  Duck  Islands,  26  ; 
at  Constitution  Wharf,  6  ;  at  cus- 
tom-house pier,  6  ;  breaks  the  rec- 
ord, 33  ;  burros  on  board,  4  ;  cabin 
accommodations  of,  9  ;  cruising  for 
meat  supply,  43  ;  in  Barden  Bay, 
38  ;  in  the  ice,  18  ;  leaving  Boston, 
6  ;  leaving  New  York,  5  ;  leaving 
Portland,  7  ;  leaving  St.  John's,  10  ; 
loss  of,  535  ;  moored  in  Brooklyn, 
5 ;  passing  Cape  Cleveland,  52  ; 
return  to  Falcon  Harbour,  61  ;  re- 
turning home,  65  ;  scene  on  deck, 
8  ;  steaming  down  the  Delaware, 
5  ;  steaming  past  Cape  Alexander, 

52  ;  steaming  toward  Cape  Sabine, 

53  ;  unloading,  40  ;    walrus  hoisted 
on,  47,  48 

Field  Columbian  Museum,  617 

Figgins,  Mr..  568,  574,  585 
Fitzgerald,  Dr.,  574 
Fjord,  Foulke,  52  ;   Petermann,  67 
Fletcher,  Prof.  Lazarus,  606,  608,609 
Flowers,  at  Battle   Harbour,    11  ;    at 

Hopedale,  15 
Foulke  Fjord,  52 
Fox-traps  at  Cape  York,  37 
Franzen,  Asst.  Gov.,  21 
Frederick  VII.,  Cape,  54 

General  Wistar,  launch,  67  ;  stove  in,. 
76  ;  whale-boat,  207,  213,  248,  250, 

275,  279 
Geographical   Club    of    Philadelphia, 


George  W.  Childs  Glacier,  58 

Gibson,  Langdon,  46 

Gill,  Prof.  568 

Glacier,  Academy,  494,  495,  498,  499  ; 
Anoah,  220,  331  ;  Bowdoin,  75, 
247,  537  ;  Crystal  Palace,  52  ; 
East,  242,  275,  279,  373  ;  George 
W.  Childs,  58  ;  Heilprin,  43  ;  Hub- 
bard, 43,  72,  73  ;  Humboldt,  124, 
382,  444  ;  Hurlbut,  43  ;  Ignimut, 
219 ;  Kahkoktah,  82,  428,  537  ; 
Keate,  409  ;  Marie,  123  ;  Misumi- 
su,  229  ;  Petowik,  137-139,  141, 
155,  163,  207,  211,  330,  335,  4e6, 
425  ;  Savage,  126,  232  ;  Sculptured 
Cliffs,  241 ;  Tyndall,  150;  view  of,  88 

Glaciers  of  Olriks  Bay,  126 

Godhavn,  549,  593  ;  entering  the 
harbour  of,  22 

Goodrich,  Mr.,  574 

Granville  Bay,  173 

Greely  house,  592,  593 

Greenland  birds,  141 

Gulf,  Inglefield,  43,  58,  81,  117,  119, 
252,  375,  544 


Hakluyt    Island,  38,    47,    376,    383  ;. 

steaming  toward,  58 
Harbour,    Dexterity,    546  ;  Pandora^ 

52  ;   Rensselaer,  213,  426 
Harrington,  Hon.  M.  W.,  177 
Hawkes,  Cape,  53 
Hayes,  Dr.  I.  I.,  161 
Heilprin  Glacier,  43 

622        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Heilprin,  Professor,  7 

Henson,  Matthew,  66,  88,  155,  207, 
217,  231,  232,  236,  237,  239,  244, 
248,  277,  278,  281,  287,  301,  307, 
311,  313,  361,  370,  373,  376,  396, 
398,  402,  408,  410,  416,  424,  425, 
427,  432,  440,  441,  444,  445,  447- 
450,  453,  457,  462-464,  466,  470, 
471,  473,  475,  478,  480,  481,  485, 
488-496,  500,  503,  517,  520,  528- 
530,  532,  568,  574 

Herbert  Island,  38,  46,  58,  59,  67,  78, 
130,  160,  224,  232,  251,  258,  329, 
376,  389,  409,  419,  42a  ;  absence  of 
ice  in  vicinity  of,  47 

Holsteinborg,  harbour  of,  20  ;  pic- 
turesqueness  of,  22 

Hope,  the  s.  s.,  553,  568,  572-576, 
579,  580,  582-587,  590-595 

Hopedale,  Moravian  Mission  of,  14 

Hoppin,  Benjamin,  568 

House,  commencing  work  on,  40  ; 
Greely,  592,  593 ;  Red  Cliff,  45, 
127,  416  ;  site  of  Polaris,  54 

Hubbard  Glacier,  43,  72,  73 

Humboldt  Glacier,  124,  382,  444 

Hunter,  Chief,  579 

Hurlbut  Glacier,  43 

Ice-cap,  beginning  of  journey  upon 
the,  437  ;  end  of  fall  work  on,  77  ; 
on  Cape  York,  37  ;  packing  sup- 
plies to,  66  ;  Red  Cliff,  416  ;  sup- 
plies on  the,  72  ;  travelling  upon, 
77  ;  wind-storm  upon,  98  ;  work 
on,  288,  300 

Igloo,  construction  of,  26S,  269  ;  de- 
scription of,  430,  431  ;  Lee's,  89  ; 
Peary's,  153 

Ignimut  Glacier,  219 

Independence  Bay,  66,  93,  102,  108, 
113,  210,  300,  441,  446,  447,  456, 
463,  528 

IngersoU,  Cape,  54 

Ingifitield  Gulf,  43,  58,  81,  117,  119, 
252,  375,  544 

Inland  Ice,  66  ;  camp  on,  86  ;  equip- 
ment for,  78,  79  ;  journey  on, 
612  ;  Lee  starts  for,  80;  returning 
on  the,  114;  sledges  blown  from 
edge  of,  72  ;  surface  of,  107  ;  visi- 
ble, 38  ;  work  on,  67,  72 

"  Iron  Mountain,"  127,  133  ;  dis- 
covered, 147  ;  search  for,  145 

Irons,  Ovifak,  554,  606 

Isabella,  Cape,  53,  54 

Island,  Bushnan,  145,  164,  556  ;  Carey, 
38,  217  ;  Coburg,  542,  544  ;  Cone, 
542,  544,  546  ;  Disco,  554  ;  Duck, 
26,  30 ;  Eagle,  7  ;  Hakluyt,  38, 
47,  376,  383  ;  steaming  toward,  58  ; 
Herbert,  38,  46,  58,  59,  67,  78,  130, 
160,  224,  232,  251,  258,  329,  376, 
389,  409,  419,  424  ;  absence  of  ice 
in  vicinity  of,  47  ;  Josephine  Peary, 
242;  Littleton,  56,  57,  61,  419, 
420  ;  abreast  of,  52  ;  landing  on, 
57  ;  hunting  walrus  off,  57  ;  Mc- 
Gary,  56  ;  Meteorite,  566,  568,  575, 
587,  589,  591  ;  Northumberland,  38, 
47,  58,  78,  173.  224,  376,  381,  383, 
389,409,  424,  546  ;  Ptarmigan, 375  ; 
Saunders,  136,  137,  161,  172,  173, 
215,  217,  331,  332,  346,  352  ;  Thom, 
174;  Wolstenholm,  211,  215,  331, 


Jackman,  Capt.,  546 

Jensen,  Mr.,  574 

Jesup,  Morris  K.,  606,  608,  609 

Jones  Sound,  542,  543,  546 

Josephine  Peary  Island,  242 

Kahkoktah  Glacier,  82,  428,  537 

Kallstenius  and  Bjorling,  153 

Kane  Basin,  107,   117,   426,  433  ;  ice 

unbroken  in,  53 
Kane,  Dr.  E.,    138,    172  ;  expedition 

of,  6,  161  ;  ship  of,  213 
Kangerdlooksoah,    reindeer    pastures 

of,  79 
Karnah,  Sculptured  Cliffs  of,  43 
Keate   Glacier,    409 ;    settlement   of, 

Kirkland,  Com.,  4 
Kite,    the  s.  s.,    128,   535,   537,    542, 

549,  562,  563,  565,  568,  574,  595 

Labrador,  Eskimos  of,  14,  17  ;  steam- 
ing along  the  coast  of,  13 
Lake,  Baby,  88,  96,  288,  395,  518, 522 



Lancaster  Sound,  546 

Larry,  the  steward,   152 

Launch,  General  IVtsiar,  67  ;  stove 
in,  76 

Le  Boutillier,  Mr.,  537 

Lee,  Hugh  J.,  66,  71,  72,  127,  130, 
137,  139,  142,  143,  146,  148,  155, 
208,  243,  248-250,  253,  256,  273, 
277,  27S,  2S1,  287,  301,  3ti,  313, 
327-329,  331,  336,  346,  361,  370, 
387,395,  398,  410,  440,  441,  443- 
445,  447,  448,  453,  457,  466,  470, 
490-494,  496,  500,  503,  510-513, 
517,  518,  520, 530, 535. 568,  569,  574, 
612  ;  condition  of,  94  ;  exhausted, 
81  ;  frost-bitten,  92  ;  igloo  of,  89 ; 
leaving  camp,  90  ;  loses  his  way, 
8i  ;  return  of,  95  ;  starts  for  Inland 
Ice,  80 

Libbey,  Prof.  Wm.,  153 

Life-Boat  Cove,  54,  419 

Little  Matterhorn,  220 

Littleton  Island,  56,  57,  61,  419,420  ; 
abreast  of,  52  ;  landing  on,  57  ; 
hunting  walrus  off,  57 

Louis  Napoleon  Cape,  54 


Maigaard,  Christian,  528 

Marie  Glacier,  123 

Martin,  Mr.,  568 

Mary  Peary,  whale-boat,  4,  47,  57, 
60,  72,  250,  275,  279  ;  struck  by 
ice,   50 

McCormick  Bay,  88,  127,  153,  232, 
273,  396,  424,  428,_  537 

McGary  Island,  landing  on,  56 

Melville  Bay,  124,  128,  142,  155,  163, 
167,  382,  554,  556,  558-563,  568, 
572,  573,  575,  589,  614  ;  crossed, 
33  ;  passage  begun,  30  ;  sledge 
journey  to,  159  ;  Cape,  164,  165  ; 
Monument,  168 

Meteor  and  aurora,  405 

Meteorite,  christening  the,  589  ; 
lifted  from  its  bed,  565  ;  sledge 
made  for,  565  ;  Cranbourne,  617  ; 
Island,  566,  568,575,  587,  589,  591 

Meteorites,  analysis  of,  609 ;  Cape 
York,  553,  607,  617,  618  ;  descrip- 
tion of  the,  595  ;  history  of,  554  ; 
location  of,  556 

Meteorological  notes,  177-203 

Misumisu  Glacier,  229 

Moore,  Arthur,  574,  584 

Moraine  Camp,  74,  85,  96,  120 ; 
picket  duty  at,  75 

Morch,  Eskimo  pastor,  25 

Mount,  Agony,  138,  211  ;  Bartlett, 
80,  396,  410,  411,  413,  522  ;  Gyr- 
falco,  235 

Mountain,"  the  "  Iron,  127 

Murchison  Sound,  38,  58,  153,  231, 
232,  242,  423 

Murdock,  Cape,  169 

Museum,  American,  of  Natural  His- 
tory, 549,  61  r  ;  British,  554,  606, 
617  ;  Field  Columbian,  617  ;  Na- 
tional, 617  ;  Paris,  617  ;  Yale  Uni- 
versity, 617 

Musk-calf,  485 

Musk-oxen,  following  the,  486  ; 
killed,  479,  480  ;  meat,  491  ;  seen, 
476  ;  skinned,  481 

Musk-Ox  Valley,  471,  473,  474,  490, 


Nansen,  Dr.  F.,  457,  514 

Navy  Cliff,  474,  498  ;  cairn  upon,  490 

Navy  Department,  594 

Navy  Yard,  N.  Y.,  594,  60S 

New  Year,  79 

New  York  Navy  Yard,  594,  608 

Nordenskjold,  554  ;  irons,  604,  606 

North  Star,  the  s.  s. ,  554,  561 

Northumberland    Island,    38,   47,  58, 

78,    173,    224,    376,   381,    383,   389, 

409,  424,  546 


Odometer,   129 

Ohlin,  Dr.  Axil,  153 

Ohlsen,  Cape,  56,  419 

Ohlsen,  Governor,  25 

Oil,  loss  of,  76 

Okkak,  mission  station  of,  17 

Olriks  Bay,  119,  123,  129-131, 
174,  231,  244,  376,  378;  glaciers 
of,  126  ;  hunting  in,  60,  72  ;  inac- 
curately charted,  61  ;  party  for,  67  ; 
returning  from,  60  ;  steaming  for, 
58  ;    steaming  up,  59 

Omenak  Sound,  38,  208,  419,  420 

624        Northward  over  the  "Great  Ice" 

Operti,    Albert,   568,   573,    574,    614, 

Ovifak  irons,  554,  606 

Fa7idora,  the  s.  s.,  56 

Pandora  Harbour,  52 

Panther,  the  s.  s. ,  29 

Paris  Museum,  617 

Parker  Snow  Bay,  140,  335,  338,  345, 

Parker  Snow  Point,  140 
Parry,   Cape,     134,     149,    i6r,     2ig- 

221,  327,    329,   349,    352,   354,  376, 

381,  409,  556  ;    sighted,  38 
Peary  Expeditions,  151  ;  igloo,  153 
Peary,    Little  Ahnighito,    70  ;  Marie 

Ahnighito,  68 
Peary,  Mrs.  Robert  E.,40,  47,  54,  59, 

66,  80,  88,  123,  152,  212,  309,   315, 

535,    537,562,574,    584;    boarding 

the  Falcon,  7  ;  landing  at  Godhavn, 

Peninsula,  Red  Cliff,  119,  232 
Perry,  Mr.,  574 

Petermann  Fjord,  67  ;    Basin,  451 
Petowik  Glacier,   137-139,   141,   155, 
163,   207,    211,  330,  335,  416,  425 
Phelps,  J.  K.,  602 
Phillips,  Mr.,  568 
Pigeon  Camp,  88,  95,  96,  119 
Pigeons,  the  carrier,  4  ;  letter  by,  68 
Plateau  Camp,  89 
Polaris  House,   site  of,   54  ;  souvenir 

from,  55 
Porter,  Mr.,  56S,  574 
Portland,  farewell  banquet  by  the  city 

of,  7 
Prudhoe  Land,  107,  117 
Ptarmigan  Island,  375 
Putnam,  Assist.,  568 


Red  Cliff,  133;  ice-cap  on,  416; 
peninsula  of,  119,  232 

Red  Cliff  House,  45,  127,  416 

Red  Mountain,  211 

Reindeer,  cache,  375  ;  haunts,  59  ; 
hunted,  60,  72,  154;  pastures  of 
Kangerdlooksoah,  79;  shot,  137 

Relics  of  Polaris  party,  55 

Rensselaer  Harbour,  213,  426 

Ricketts  and  Banks,  602 

Robertson  Bay,  273,  422,  424  ;  Cape, 

Ross,  Capt.  John,  554,  561,  614 

Sabine,  Cape,  53,  54,  592,  593 

Salisbury,  Prof.  Rollin  D.,  535,  537, 
544,  606-608 

Salmon  River,  234 

Saunders  Island,  136,  137,  161,  172, 
173,  215,  217,  331,  332,  346,  352 

Savage  Glacier,  126,  232 

Saviksoak  Bay,  558,  562,  568 

Schuchert,  Prof.,  574 

Sculptured  Cliffs  of  Karnah,  232,  249, 
275,  328,  376;  glacier  of ,  241 

Seddon,  Cape,  i68 

Shackleton,  Cape,  28 

Shaw,  Mr.,  574 

Sledge,  132;  cached,  117  ;  construction 
of,  97  ;  iron  runner,  423  ;  journey 
to  Melville  Bay,  159  ;  left,  117,  118  ; 
observatory,  98  ;  trips,  78 

Sledges,  blown  from  Inland  Ice,  72  ; 
broken,  106  ;  buried,  iii  ;  com- 
pleted, 108  ;  overhauling,  92  ;  re- 
paired, 130 

Sledging  by  moonlight,  79 

Smith  Sound,  207,  252,  419,  421,  446, 
544,  558  ;   Eskimos  of,  556 

Sohon,  Dr.  Fred,  574 

Sonntag  Bay,  58 

Sound,  Booth, 135, 149,  i6[, 220,  222  ; 
dogs  of  Whale,  524  ;  Jones,  542,  543, 
546  ;  Lancaster,  546 ;  Murchison, 
38,  58,  153,  231,  232,  242,  423; 
Omenak,  38,  208,  419,  420  ;  Smith, 
207,  252,  419,  421,  446,  544,  558; 
Eskimos  of,  556  ;  Whale,  38,  58, 
93,  117,  127,  134,  150,  172, 173, 229, 
232,242,  366,  375,  376,499,612; 
Wolstenholm,  129,  136,  161,  162, 
172,215,  219,  331,  334,347,416, 
419,  420,  554,  592 

Stein,  Robert,  578,  579 

Stickney,  Mr.,  578 

Stokes,  F.  W.,66 

St.  John's,  N.  F.,  3,  10,  397 

Strait,  Davis,  593,  594 

Straits  of  Belle  Isle,  594 

Sugar  Loaf,  28 

Sunrise  Point,  58 



Supplies  on  ice-cap,  72 
Sutherland,  Mr.,  56S 
Swain,  Walter  T.,  66 
Sweigard,  Supt.,  3 


Tarr.  Prof.  R.S.,  568 

Tasiusak,  settlement  of,  26 

Taylor,  Mr.,  584 

Temperatures,  30, 77,  90,  97,  100, 105- 
lio,  115-117,  120,  129,  162,  163, 
178,  179-  181-187,  317,  370,  373, 
411,  415,  444,  450,  452  ;  of  air,  33  ; 
of  water,  33 

Thom  Island,  174 

Tooktoo  Valley,  82 

Traps  on  Cape  York,  37 

Turnavik,  leaving  mail  at,  13 

Tyndall  Glacier,  150 


Umanak,  570,  579 
Upernavik,  25,  213,  549 

VerhoeiT,  John  M.,  37,  46 
Vincent,   Dr.   Edward  E.,  65,   68,  99, 
loi,  102 


Walker,  Cape,  166,  168 

Walrus,  57  ;  feeding  grounds  of  the, 
208  ;  hoisted  on  board,  47  ;  hunting 
the,  251,  262,  429  ;  killed,  67  ;  meat 
of,  426  ;  off  Littleton  Island,  57  ; 
securing,  48  ;  seen  on  the  ice,  47  ; 
steaming  toward  the,  46 

Walsh,  Dr.  John,  535 

Watson,  Mr.,  568 

Weinschenk,  Dr.  E.  A.,  606,  608,  609 

Wetherell,  Dr.  II.  E.,  153 

Whale-boats,  67  ;  the  Faith,  4,  47  ; 
crushed,  76 ;  the  General  Wistar, 
207,  213,  248,  250,  275,  279;  the 
Mary  Peary,  4,  47,  57,  60,  72,  250, 

275,  279 
Whale  Sound,   38,    58,   93,    117,  127, 

134,   150,    172,   173,  229,  232,  242, 

366,   375,   376,  499,  612  ;  dogs  of, 

524  ;   Eskimo  of,  431 
White,  Mr.,  574 
White,  Prof.,  574 
Whitfield,  Prof.,  604,  609 
Widmannstatten  figures,  602,  606 
Wilcox  Head,  28,  568 
Wind-storm  on  ice-cap,  98  ;  subsides, 

Wistar,  General  I.  J.,  4 
Wolstenholm,  Island,  211,   215,   331; 

Sound,  129, 136,  i6r,  162,  172,  215, 

219.   331.   334.  347.  416,  419,  420, 

554,  592 


Yale  College  Museum,  627 

York,  Cape,  128,  129,  141,  142,  155, 
159,  162,  164,  169,  171,  2ir,  219, 
273,  305,  313.  327,  330,  333.  336. 
343,  353,  373,  39^.  4o8,  419,  554. 
556,  559,  561.  562,  568,  574,  575, 
591,  592,  606, 607,  618;  cairn  erected 
on,  37  ;  families  from,  70  ;  fox-traps 
on,  37  ;  ice-cap  on,  37  ;  landing  at, 
37  ;  meteorites,  553,  607,  617,  618  ; 
outlook  from,  37  ;  region  about, 
133  ;  rounding,    143  ;  sighted,  32 

Young,  Sir  Allen,  56 

JUl  ■)  9 1927 


3  5002  03111  8339 

G  742  . P37  1898  2 

Peary,  Robert  E.  1856-1920. 

Northward  over  the  great  ice